“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” –Benjamin Franklin
Taking care of your heart doesn’t have to begin after being diagnosed with hypertension, angina or other cardiac disorders or heart problems. The heart is a vital organ and in order to live a fit and healthy life, and be productive, you need a healthy heart.
However, it’s never too late to start taking care of yourself. One needs to take a few preventive measures and adopt a few good habits that go a long way!
1. Check Your Fats
Yes, fats are important. We need saturated, polyunsaturated and unsaturated fats. However, there’s a certain kind of fats that we don’t need; the trans fat. Unfortunately, our favourite foods are full of trans fats. Donuts, cakes, cookies and foods made of shortenings are all rich in trans fats.
Avoid foods that are packed and ready-made available as they are the opposite of what your heart needs. Ingredients on the packets that have ‘hydrogenated fats’ are basically trans fats that you need to avoid. Give yourself a treat every now and then, but don’t go over board and hurt yourself.
2. Sleep for a Healthy Heart
Yes, its tempting and addictive to scroll on your Facebook and Tumblr forever, even on weekdays; however, the body needs 7 hours of sleep. A study showed that young people who slept 7 hours a day had lesser calcium deposits in their arteries. These calcium deposits play a large role in heart attacks.
If you suffer from insomnia it is important to get the required treatment.
3. Maintain Oral hygiene
It might seem impossible that the mouth and the heart are somehow related; but the relationship is more important than we think. If teeth are not properly brushed, the bacteria accumulate in your gums. From the gums it enters the bloodstream and goes into the heart. This bacterium infects the heart valve and can cause death.
The body needs at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. Strenuous workout cannot be started from day1, but you need to start off with whatever breaks your sweat and makes you catch a breath. Weather its brisk walk, cycling or cardio workout. In this busy routine it is important to take out time for some exercise to avoid being bed bound in the long run.
“We now know that even if you exercise for 30 minutes a day, being sedentary for the other 23 and a half hours is really bad for your heart,” says Monika Sanghavi, MD, assistant professor of cardiology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
This means make physical activity a part of your life.
Walk to the nearby market instead of taking the car. Use the stairs at work instead of the elevator.
5. Ditch the Cigarette and the Smokers
Cigarettes, whether smoked directly or indirectly, are injurious to health.
“According to the American Heart Association, exposure to tobacco smoke contributes to about 34,000 premature heart disease deaths and 7,300 lung cancer deaths each year. And nonsmokers who have high blood pressure or high blood cholesterol have an even greater risk of developing heart disease when they’re exposed to secondhand smoke.”
The smoke emitted from the cigarette cause plaque buildup in the blood vessels that cause heart attacks.
The smoke that is smoked directly contains tar which also sticks on the walls of blood vessels, both cause undesired heart problems from an early age.
6. Put Your Hands to Good Use
Now this one is not only new, but also interesting.
Research shows that activities like knitting, sewing and painting are great stress relievers and hence avoid heart diseases. For those of you who, even if rarely, ever practiced these things would know it is a meditation of its own kind.
So, do away with the stress of daily life by getting creative. For those of you who are not too artistic; research shows that jigsaw puzzles work great too!
7. Get Fishy
Fish contains Omega-3 fatty acids which make the heart and blood vessels healthier. Tuna, Sardines and Salmons in your sandwiches would be a great favo
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