We all know the basics of a healthy heart, but some habits are such that we continue them without realizing that they are wreaking havoc on our hearts. Call it social pressure or negligence, the victim always is the heart. Heart pumps blood to our entire body and the significance of this cannot be undermined in any way.
Also, most of us would know the increasing numbers of heart disease in India and now almost 50 per cent of women are at the risk of heart disease. Cardiovascular disorders are also notorious enough to be tagged as the number one killer in India. So, what can we do to effectively prevent any heart nemesis? Lead a lifestyle that pertains to the following healthy heart tips. If not a guaranteed prevention, they will substantially reduce your risks of a cardiovascular disorder.
Know the harmful fats
Most of us do not know the difference between different kinds of fats. You can read that here (link). For a brief, the worst criminal is trans fats. You have to say no to trans fats and all its sources, which include junk food, packaged and processed foods, quick snacks and bakery items. This is because trans fats raise the levels of bad cholesterol in your body and cut down the good cholesterol. However, you can and must have unsaturated and polysaturated fats as they are healthy and are needed by your body.
Don't sit for very long at one time
We know it is bad news for many of us as we are doing sedentary, desk jobs for sustenance. However, sitting for too long is extremely unhealthy for your heart as a study showed that it increased the risk of cardiovascular disease by a whopping 147 per cent! The chances of death by the disease also almost doubled up as they increased by 90 per cent.
Passive smoking is the plague!
This is after we assume that you are not an active smoker because if you are, the chances of a heart disease are greatly aggravated! However, if you don't and still have colleagues who smoke or family members who cannot kick the butt, the chances still are quite pronounced. The risk shoots up by 30 per cent if you are exposed to second-hand smoke at work or home. If you have a case of hypertension, the risk increases further.
Maintain good dental hygiene
Many do not know about the relation between the two but a good dental health means a good heart health. This is because the risk factors of periodontal disease and heart disease are the same. If you have the former, you are likely to have the latter too. This is because the bacteria that leads to gum diseases travel into the bloodstream and this leads to a rise in the levels of C-reactive proteins, causing inflammation in your blood vessels.
Sleep for seven hours
That is, a minimum of seven hours. A study showed that those who slept less than six hours doubled up their risk of cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke! This is because a lack of sleep interferes with your biological processes and can affect your blood pressure and any underlying heart condition.
Know your blood pressure
If you are reading this article, chances are you stay aware of any conditions related to your heart but you would be surprised to know that half of the people who have high blood pressure do not know about their condition! This shows that we are in a dire need to create awareness about the subject. Ideally, if you are aged between 18 and 30, you should get your blood pressure checked every three to five years. If you are older, you must check it every year.
Put down your earphones
Loud noise can also aggravate a condition of the heart! Studies have shown that loud noises such as that of traffic or of loud music can increase your heartbeat, shooting up your blood pressure. On the contrary, a slow tempo and sound can have a soothing impact on your mind and health.
Say no to gadgets post 8 PM
Gadgets have a harmful impact on your health and this has been proven time and again by various studies. However, it is impossible to avoid them considering the digitally-driven lives that we lead today. So, make a thumb rule to avoid gadgets post 8 PM. The blue light which is emitted by the gadgets can significantly increase the risk of cancer, diabetes and heart problems. Also, it can interfere with your sleep pattern and increase the chances further.
Eat a heart-healthy diet
This means eating five portions of fresh fruits, vegetables, dried fruits, nuts and seeds in a day. All the processed foods like cookies, refined flour bread and pastas need to be slashed off from your diet. The worst culprit are the sugar beverages that we consume including soda and packed juices. In order to improve your diet immediately, the first thing you should do is stop consuming these as they are sugar dense without the fiber of a fruit.
'30 minutes X 5 days' should be your exercise formula
In order to keep heart disease at bay, you need to exercise and move! Be it through yoga, dancing, swimming, brisk walking or cycling, you must indulge in moderate intensity workout for 30 minutes at least five days of the week. This is recommended by the World Health Organization for all adults aged between 18 and 64. If you indulge in high intensity workout, you can reduce the duration to half, that is 75 minutes a week, or 15 minutes for 5 days a week. This reduces the chances of not only CVD but also many other diseases such as depression, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, vertebral fracture and even colon and breast cancer.