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November 8th, 2022
The heart is one of the most vital organs of the human body. However, with research showing that cardiovascular diseases are one of the world’s leading cause of death – responsible for at least 1 in every 3 deaths – the importance of keeping the heart healthy has never been more crucial.
Several risk factors may contribute to the development of cardiovascular diseases. An unhealthy diet, bad habits, high cholesterol levels, and physical inactivity are just a few of such contributing factors. But the reality is that most cardiovascular diseases are preventable and can be avoided!
No matter how old you are, taking care of your heart health should be a priority.
Here are simple things you can do consistently to maintain and protect your heart health.
1. Eat healthily
A lot of times we fail to understand how much what we eat affect our health. Eating the right diet consistently doesn’t just help you look good or fit but goes a long way in ensuring the stability of your health.
A healthy diet that works for your heart focuses on a balanced combination of various food types ranging from legumes, nuts, and whole grains to fruits, vegetables, and protein. Rather than eat junk, settle for fresh, homemade meals.
Reduce the intake of salt and sugar and other salty meals. Use natural herbs and spices instead of high-sodium condiments. Reduce the intake of canned or processed food products. Also, do more boiling than frying, and if you must fry, avoid oils that are high in cholesterol.
2. Avoid Alcohol
Research shows a strong connection between frequent alcohol intake and over 200 ailments and injury conditions. Consuming excessive alcohol can cause liver diseases and weakens the immune system. Alcohol also causes high blood pressure and heart attacks. Although it feels good, taking alcohol does more harm than good to your body and your heart. If you want to increase your chances of living a long, healthy life then you will have to reduce your intake of alcohol or stop completely.
3. Quit tobacco intake
The use of tobacco is well known to cause damage to the lungs, but it also has effects on the heart. Exposure to second-hand smoke in the environment or quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your body especially when you begin to age. The intake of tobacco has long-term effects that are more prone to manifest at an older age. Research shows that even after quitting the use of tobacco for a year, the risks of being prone to heart or lung-related diseases are more in smokers. For the sake of your heart, it is best you don’t smoke or expose yourself to environments with toxic air and pollution.
4. Exercise regularly
Apart from the fact that exercise helps you look good and keeps you fit, working out consistently helps you protect your heart. When you engage in strenuous physical exercise, your heart pumps more blood around your body and beats faster. This improves the strength of the heart muscles and burns off the fat in the heart. In essence, exercise gives your heart the opportunity to get stronger. Consider making exercise a part of your daily or weekly schedule. You won’t only burn off fat but preserve your heart!
5. Lose weight
The risk of heart disease is more in obese or overweight people compared to others with lower body mass indexes. Being intentional about your body weight might be a hard discipline but it is worth it if you intend to live long. Having a high body mass index or being obese increases your risks of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart attacks. For the safety of your heart, become intentional about your body weight. Watch what you eat, and avoid fatty food or food high in calories or cholesterol. Eat smaller portions, eat more vegetables/fruits and work out often.
6. Rest properly
Poor rest, stress, and insomnia have been known to be the contributing factors that cause heart disease and high blood pressure. Poor sleep can increase your stress levels and make you engage in habits that can affect your heart. Your heart is in a safer condition when you learn to rest properly. To protect your heart, create a sleep schedule and stick to it. Go to bed as early as possible and get at least 8 hours of sleep.
7. Be consistent with checkups and medical examinations
One of the best ways to safeguard the health of your heart is by visiting a primary care clinic or seeing a pulmonologist for checkups. Visiting a health center for a medical examination helps you know the state of your health. That way, ailments can be diagnosed early and treatment can begin. Also, you will be provided with tips and medical advice that can help you follow treatment routines if you are diagnosed with a heart-related disease.
Taking good care of your heart health is an investment that you will never regret. As much as doing the above will help preserve your heart, it is important that you maintain a close relationship with a primary care center or medical expert. Contact us today for quality medical services or to speak with a health professional.