How to Keep Your Heart Fit and Young: 10 Useful Tips
Risk factors associated with cardiac problems
Risk factors that are beyond your control:
Age: Most people get affected by coronary heart disease at their 60s. However, today people as young as 25 or 30 also suffer from heart diseases.
Sex: Men are usually at more risk than women to suffer from heart diseases. Usually, women encounter heart problems after menopause, between 40 – 45 years of age.
Heredity: Having a family history of cardiac ailments almost double the chances of a person facing similar heart problems.
Risk factors that you can control:
High Cholesterol: It results in fatty deposits, which block the arteries. Click here to know more about cholesterol and heart disease.
High Blood Pressure: It increases the load on the heart and can result in cardiac arrest.
High Blood Sugar: It affects the functioning of blood vessels in the heart.
Obesity: If your weight is above 10 percent of your ideal body weight then you’re more prone to cardiac problems.
Smoking: Compared to a non-smoker, a smoker doubles the chances of developing heart ailments. It can also cause sudden heart failure.
Stress: Relaxation after every 24 hours is a must to avoid serious heart problems. Cumulative stress is extremely harmful for physical and mental health.
Inactive Lifestyle: Regular exercise keeps obesity, diabetes, cholesterol and BP under control. The intensity of workout may vary from person to person.
10 useful tips to keep your heart healthy:
1. Avoid smoking: Smoking reduces life expectancy by 15 - 25 years. If you’re a smoker you’re twice more likely compared to a non-smoker to develop heart ailments at some point in your life. The moment you quit smoking, the risk of heart attack will reduce significantly.
2. Limit alcohol consumption: Too much alcohol could damage the heart muscle, increase blood pressure, and lead to obesity. Avoid intake of alcohol consumption or at least limit it to one to two units maximum a day.
3. Workout regularly: Aim at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day. Keeping yourself physically fit not only benefits the heart but also improves mental health and overall well-being.
4. Cut down on salt: Too much salt can cause high blood pressure, which increases the chance of developing coronary heart disease.
5. Watch you diet: Try to have a balanced diet. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables, starch foods such as wholegrain bread and rice.
6. Monitor BP, Blood Sugar and Cholesterol: Routine medical check-ups will ring an alarm, if you need medical help.
7. Manage your waist: Cholesterol deposition in blood vessels begin in the first decade of life. Carrying an extra weight as fat can greatly affect your health. Make small but healthy changes in your diet.
8. Manage your stress level: If you find things are getting on top of you, you may fail to eat properly, smoke and drink too much. This may increase the risk of a heart attack. Practice yoga and meditation. Take a vacation.
9. Check your family history: If a close relative is at risk of developing coronary heart disease from smoking, high BP, high cholesterol, lack of physical activity, obesity or diabetes then you could be at risk too.
10. Laughter works wonder: Laughter is the best therapy to avoid heart ailments. It’s an instant way to unleash the pressure and it makes you feel light!