Heart by far is the most important organ in the human body. It is as instrumental as the brain for survival. Safeguarding the heart health is as necessary as protecting your mental health is.
Today, heart-attacks and heart failure are terms which are no longer restricted to Hindi TV serials! Given the unhealthy lifestyles and stressful ways everyone goes about their lives, heart diseases are but natural. There are instances in our family or surroundings wherein some otherwise fine uncle or great grandfather has undergone a heart bypass surgery. And you are left questioning the seriousness of such a situation and your own fitness routine.
Given in this article are heart tips that you need to adhere in order to protect your and your family’s heart health:
1. Morning or evening walks
Do not miss out on brisk walking either in the cool morning air or the evening breeze, either ways. If you are a person in your 60s, then 40 minutes of brisk walking 4 times a week is enough for keeping the heart going. On the other hand, if you are a person in the earlier age bracket, then the walking quota should be of a daily basis.
2. Eat healthy
Eating fresh fruits and vegetables is a simple task, but its benefits reflect on your health and body in the long run. Therefore, do not discount its importance. Including, proper quantities of green vegetables, seasonal fruits and meats if you are a non-vegetarian also contributes towards your heart health. Avoiding foods containing saturated fats is also important.
3. Reduce your alcohol intake
Being an occasional drinker is one thing and drinking regularly like there is no tomorrow is another. Do not go overboard on the drinks, just because you are drowning in sorrow over the money you lost in the stock market or over a separation with a partner. Just do not give in the urge to down another bottle over such life situations. Find ways to cope with them that reduces stress and keeps your heart healthy.
4. Quit smoking
Give up smoking, if you are a chain smoker and cannot do without multiple swigs in a day. Giving up smoking little by little does a lot of good to you and also people surrounding you. This simple step of kicking the butt reduces your chances of getting heart disease of any kind in the long run.
5. Get enough sleep daily
Getting enough sleep everyday after a hectic day is important for the heart too. Less sleep is associated with obesity, abnormal cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Not getting adequate sleep can have long term effects like obesity, stroke, coronary heart disease, memory loss etc. So, it is of utmost importance to get adequate beauty sleep everyday.
6. Learn to let go
Eliminate the things and people that cause you stress. Doing so is equivalent to winning half the battle of making your heart stay healthy in future. Harboring grudges about anything someone said to you 10 years back and having a disturbed mindset as a result is harmful for the mind and body. Harboring grudges is of no use and is only harmful to the heart health. Either learn to let go or talk it out with the concerned person. That is the easiest way to free your mind from the unnecessary stress and having a healthy heart.
7. Keep your cholesterol levels in check
A higher level of cholesterol is linked to heart disease. Lower the cholesterol levels, the lesser your risk of getting heart diseases. There are various physical activities like brisk walking, contact sports, swimming, trekking that will help in maintaining cholesterol levels to the normal level.
8. Go for regular heart checks or screenings
Heart screenings comprise of checking cholesterol, blood pressure, blood glucose levels etc. Few hospitals also offer echocardiogram and cardiac stress testing in the same heart checkup package. This can be helpful for the doctor to prescribe medications and precautions accordingly.
9. Have a social life
Studies show that people having meaningful social bonds and friends have a healthy cardiac health and hence a stress-free life. Bonding with like-minded people regularly helps in keeping negativity at bay. Hence, whatever your age, have a set of friends that can help you beat your stress and let your hair down from time to time.
10. Watch comedy shows
There are a plethora of awesome comedy shows on youtube as well as television channels. These shows are a good way to have a good laugh in these stressful times when all of us have almost forgotten to smile, let go laugh. Your heart health is also safeguarded in the process of having uncontrolled laughter!
11. Do not miss the breakfast
As much as you’ve heard and read about the importance of breakfast in terms of health, this point reiterates the same for your heart health as well. Studies have shown that people who do not skip this meal of the day have a better functioning heart. Hence, if you want a healthier heart in the long run, do not ever skip your breakfast before stepping out for work.
12. Physical fitness
There’s no better way to have a healthy and refreshed mind other than by joining a yoga or zumba class. It is enjoyable as well as beneficial to heart health. You get to meet new people and make newer friends! Socializing and burning of calories happens at the same time with no extra effort.
Above listed were few basic tips to help you take better care of your heart. However, if you are a heart patient then consulting your doctor before following any of them makes sense.