How to Avoid Heart Diseases
As you know, we have to look after our bodies. Not only on the outside but on the inside too. And we are not just talking about our mental health (although it does play a big part in this topic). Namely, keeping your internal organs healthy is not as easy since you cannot see inside yourself. However, the best thing you can do is to prevent issues from arising in the future. Heart diseases and heart attacks are very common in the modern age. Luckily, we have a shortlist health guide to cardiovascular disease prevention methods for you to follow.
Avoid Fatty and Oily Food
Weight gain can play a huge role in the status of your heart. It has been said that the more weight you have, the more your body has to pump blood as well as fight the fat in your system. For one, fat (adipose tissue) creates plaque buildup in your arteries which makes the blood flow struggle to get through.
And fatty and/or oily foods are a major source of weight gain. It is best to speak to a doctor or a nutritionist about the process of your weight loss method. While carrying too much weight is bad, this also applies to carrying too little of it. There has to be a healthy balance.
Prepare a Good-For-The-Heart Diet
Weight gain is a major issue when it comes to the health of your heart, as mentioned above. However, one of the best things you can do (not just for your heart, but your body as a whole) is to have a good diet. This can improve your blood pressure, not to mention your cholesterol too. It can also help you lose weight. A healthy diet (particularly for your heart) should include:
- Healthy fats
- Fat-free/ low-fat dairy products
- Whole grain
- Fruits and vegetables
- Fish and/or lean meats
The following should be avoided as much as possible to aid in the strengthening of our hearts. They are sugar, alcohol intake, salt, processed carbohydrates, and saturated as well as trans fats. The latter is found in chips, fried fast food, and baked goods. The former is found in full-fat dairy items as well as red meat.
Avoid or Stop Smoking Cigarettes
Smoking cigarettes can also add to the risk of heart attacks. There are chemicals in tobacco that can damage your blood vessels as well as your heart. Furthermore, smoking decreases the amount of oxygen in your blood. This increases your blood pressure plus your heart rate since your heart has to increase its workload to make up for the lack of O2. This can even apply to secondhand smoke.
If you are a smoker, then a word of advice is to cut down on your cigarette intake if you cannot go cold turkey. If you can do the latter, then the risk of a heart attack will begin to decrease from the first day. However, if you cannot, it would be best to wean yourself off it. You want to quit smoking but not increase your stress levels to do so.
Daily Cardio Exercises
Cardio exercises are one of the best ways to work out your heart, thereby strengthening it while improving your blood flow. Plus, helping you lose weight. Cardio is an activity that gets your heart beating, such as walking, running, cycling, jogging, or even a team sport. You should aim to do about 2 hours of light cardio, such as walking, per week.
The fitter you get, the easier it will be, and you can advance to other exercises such as running or cycling for an hour and 15 minutes per week or two (or more) strength training exercises. But, the important bit is to take it slow if you are not used to exercising. You do not have to meet this requirement of 2 hours right off the bat. You can build up to it. However, do not give up. Speak to a doctor beforehand, though.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Your BMI (Body Mass Index) has to be checked to make sure that you are about the weight you should be to keep your heart working well without struggling. This is how you can know if you are maintaining your healthy weight or not. BMI uses your current weight and height to determine its value.
Your height cannot change, but your weight can. People who have a BMI of 25 to 30 are considered overweight. Therefore, they often have higher blood pressure as well as cholesterol. These two things can lead to strokes or heart attacks. And, weight gain can also lead to type 2 diabetes, just adding more issues to your, for lack of a better word, plate. Decreasing your weight slightly by avoiding fatty foods can, obviously, decrease the fats in your blood (triglycerides) and lower glucose (blood sugar).
Practice Stress Management
Stress often has negative effects on the body. It can cause a lack of sleep, bad eating habits, drinking too much alcohol, increased smoking, etc. It is stress that hurts your body, including your heart. A lot of heart attacks can be caused by stress more than a lot of other factors.
Therefore, you would have to find out healthy ways to deal with your stress levels. Meditation often comes to mind when speaking (or writing) about this topic. However, sports/exercises are also a great way to release stress. Another method can be found in entertainment or escapism. Such as reading, watching television, listening to music, etc. Anything to get your mind clear and off of that which is hurting your heart in a physical way. Stress balls can also do wonders too.
Give Yourself a Good Night’s Sleep
Sleep — most people love it but feel as if they do not have the time for it. This is the wrong kind of thinking since a lack of sleep can add to a rise in weight gain, diabetes, increased blood pressure, as well as risks of heart attacks. An average adult is said to need about 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night. However, it may be best to sleep as much as you need (not go over 8 hours at least). But, the important aspect is to keep to a routine for when you go to bed and when you wake up.
Depending on your work schedule, you would have to make sure that your bedroom is dark. While many people work during the day, this is not as difficult since it is already dark when they get home. But, there are such things as night shifts. Therefore, some people have to sleep during the day. Either way, make sure that there is too little light in your room, and that includes from the outside. So, maybe thick curtains can help in this regard. Also, quiet can help with sleeping.