Here's how you can keep your heart healthy in 10 easy steps
The heart is at the core of our well-being and it is imperative we take care of it. With today’s fast-paced life, incessant pressures of work, family responsibilities and increasing health concerns, this World Heart Day, we must pledge to protect our heart. So while we care for our diet and the lifestyle we lead, let’s not forget to put up a smile on our face and keep stress at bay, because it is really an effortless task to take care of the heart.
This World Heart Day, pledge to take better care of your heart! Here are 10 simple and smart ways listed by Ms Anjali Malhotra, Chief Customer Marketing & Digital Officer Aviva Life insurance to prevent heart problems in today’s busy life:
In order to keep your heart healthy, it is important to exercise each day. Any form of physical activity daily for a period of 30-45 minutes is crucial to ensure that the arteries remain flexible.
Just as brisk walking may add up to two hours to the life expectancy of some adults, few changes in one’s lifestyle such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking at the furthest end of a parking lot and taking a break from the office for a short walk during your lunch hour, will not only help in keeping one’s body in shape but will also inculcate a habit of healthy living. In addition, yoga also helps in preventing heart problems as well.
Eating right and healthy is the key to a healthy life and a healthy heart. Therefore, ensure the intake of green and leafy vegetables, exclude sugar and aerated drinks from your diet, and replace sweetened beverages with water as much as possible. Bringing down the intake of processed foods and refined flour for Healthy Living and a Healthy Heart
Too much sodium can also cause excess fluid in the body that puts an extra strain on your heart. Therefore it is best to adapt to variety of spices, herbs and flavorings that provide an alternative to salt. Also excluding red meats from the diet in order to avoid bad cholesterol and minimising the intake of oil and sugar further helps in reducing the risk of heart problems.
Get enough sleep
A good night’s sleep is essential for a healthy heart. Lack of sleep may result in a risk of cardiovascular disease irrespective of the age or other health habits. A study looking at adults over the age of 45 found that those who slept fewer than six hours per night were about twice as likely to be at risk of cardiovascular disease as compared to people who slept six to eight hours per night. Researchers believe sleeping too little causes disruptions in underlying health conditions and biological processes, including blood pressure and inflammation.
Excess body weight is dangerous for the heart. Keep an eye on your weight as it elevates chances of getting high cholesterol levels, which may lead to diabetes, risk of artery disease, and blood pressure. Also keep a check on BMI (Body Mass Index) and maintain it at optimal levels.
Drink a lot of water
By drinking 8 glasses of water a day, you can reduce the risk of a fatal heart disease by almost 54 percent. Researchers say the water dilutes the blood, making it less likely to clot. So, start chugging.
Keep a check on Smoking and Alcohol
Smoking and alcohol will have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.These habits are known to elevate blood pressure, causing irregular heartbeat and stokes. Not only that, it leads to overall disruption in the normal functioning of the heart. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid consumption of both or consume them in moderation and then gradually phase them out. It may be difficult to follow but worth the effort.
Don’t sit for too long at a stretch
Staying seated for long periods of time is bad for your health no matter how much exercise you do. This mainly concerns people with desk jobs. A research suggests that those who sat the most, had an associated risk of heart disease. In addition, sitting for long periods of time (especially when traveling) increases your risk of deep vein thrombosis (a blood clot).
Check Stress Levels
There have been various studies which have established that stress is one of the biggest triggers of heart problems. So try and keep stress at bay. Look for activities other than work which help keep stress levels in check. Indulge in a hobby or a positive self – talk with people, listen to music or read a good book or even meditate. These techniques help to reduceg stress and to develop a positive outlook towards work and life.
Practice good dental hygiene
Dental health is a good indication of overall health, including your heart, because those who have periodontal (gum) disease often have the same risk factors for heart disease. Studies show that bacteria in the mouth involved in the development of gum disease can move into the bloodstream and cause an inflammation in the blood vessels. These changes may in turn, increase your risk of heart disease.
Got the Insurance in place?
Financial planning is a really important part of healthcare. Prevention is always better than cure. So, it is best to take necessary measures. Make time and get a comprehensive health insurance plan for yourself that will cover the heart illness and other cardiovascular diseases too.
So it’s time to be proactive and take the right steps this World Heart Day. Take the pledge to keep your heart healthy and create a heart-healthy environment around you. So, what are you waiting for? Be smart and plan better for your future.