By Rohit Shelatkar
The heart is said to be a temple of the body. This temple, if not treated with care, is prone to cardiovascular diseases. It is a known fact that cardiovascular disease entails a list of conditions that affect your heart. It includes diseases which involve narrowing or blocking of the blood vessels. A narrowed or blocked vessel can lead to fatal heart attacks, recurring chest pain and even strokes. These diseases also tend to harm the heart muscles and its rhythm. Diseases like these hamper with the functioning of this vital organ. However, with proper precautions, one can easily prevent such diseases. For those with health issues including cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes and lifestyle diseases, these are some ways to combat the risk and keep your heart healthy, and happy:
Control your Blood Pressure: Say no to Smoking!
High blood pressure significantly contributes to the increase in the risk of such diseases. Therefore, it is advised to periodically check your blood pressure. Research shows that it is recommended that every adult gets their blood pressure checked once a year. You must also check your blood pressure more frequently if it is unusually higher. A good way to keep your blood pressure under control would be to make necessary changes to live a healthy lifestyle. Say No to Smoking: The usage of tobacco is a highlighted factor that works towards triggering cardiovascular diseases. The chemicals in tobacco damage the blood vessels and cause narrowing of arteries.
Further, the smoke has carbon monoxide which replaces the oxygen in the blood. This replacement puts pressure on the heart and leads to increased blood pressure.
Keep your Cholesterol Levels Controlled
High levels of cholesterol can cause the clogging of your arteries, raises the risk of coronary artery disease and lead to heart attacks. Supplements (if need be) and lifestyle changes can aid in lowering your cholesterol. Adults should generally have their cholesterol checked once every five years starting at the age of 18. If you have a family history of cholesterol-related problems then the tests should be taken more frequently.
Delete an unhealthy diet, leverage benefits of fibre, good nutrition
Eating a healthy diet can help to counter the risks of cardiovascular diseases. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains can help you stay fit. You should avoid foods which have high amounts of saturated fat such as red meat or full-fat dairy products. You should also avoid food items that have great amounts of Trans fats. These items include deep-fried fast food, bakery products, crackers or cookies. You should include food items like nuts, which are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and will help in keeping your heart healthy.
Physical activity is a must, so is exercise!
Exercising comes with several benefits that help to tackle lifestyle diseases and health issues. One should exercise regularly for at least 30 minutes. It helps in strengthening your heart and also improves your blood circulation. It also helps in maintaining a healthy weight and lower levels of blood pressure and cholesterol.
There is nothing like sound sleep to ensure good health! Lack of proper sleep leads to obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure. These three factors can lead to heart attacks. It is suggested that most adults should sleep for 7 to 9 hours every night. If after proper sleeping hours you still feel tired throughout the day then you must get checked for Sleep Apnea. In this condition, your throat muscles relax and you may stop breathing temporarily, subsequently increasing the risks of heart diseases.
(A fitness and nutrition expert, Rohit Shelatkar is VP, Vitabiotics Ltd. Views expressed are the author's own.)