Eating right is the first big step towards a healthy heart as it helps keep weight, cholestrol levels and blood pressure in check.If you are living with a heart condition it is important that you go for regular health checks and discuss every little detail that might be troubling you.In heart health , prevention is always better than cure ..
The best way to prevent complications of the heart is to modify your lifestyle.Regular exercise,a healthy diet , a tobacco free life , limited alcohol consumption and controlling stress can all help prevent heart disease.
Here are some useful information and tips that can help you live a heart healthy life.
Developing Healthy Eating Habits
Eating right is the first big step towards a healthy heart as it helps keep weight, cholestrol levels and blood pressure in check. A healthy balanced diet can protect you against some cancers and diabetes.
1, Eating sufficient amount of fruits and vegetables - approximately two cups of fruits and three cups of vegetables per day is highly recommended by health specialists .It is also advisable to opt for a variety of fruits and vegetables .
2, Eat three or more whole grain products each day and dink plenty of water, at least two litres a day.
3, Two or three cups of low fat milk or yogurt is highly recommended and take less saturated fat,salt and sugar.
4, As many of us spend a significant amount of our time at work it is important to eat healthy during the day - whether taking packed lunch or buying food from outside.It is imperative that one chooses the right kind of food.
A healthy diet is just half the battle won. A healthy diet coupled with exercise helps control weight and reduce cholestrol levels and blood pressure.It also provides long term benefits for our heart and general health.
Many people find it difficult to be consistent about their exercise routine.It need not be a strenuous workout,instead one can make it enjoyable by going for a long walk , swimming , gardening or playing a favorite sport.
Just 30-45 minutes of physical activity each day can reduce our chance of heart disease. However, for those who are unable to do so , can slowly build their stamina by starting with at least 10 minutes of workout or exercise which is better than no exercise at all.
Maintaining a steady Weight
It is also important to maintain a healthy weight .This definitely helps one reduce the heart's workload by keeping cholestrol levels low and reduce the risk of developing diabetes.
A body mass index calculator helps in assessing our weight levels - This shows you measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to adult men and women and also gives you an idea of what your ideal weight range should be.
Alcohol Consumption and Smoking
Drinking more than the recommended amount of alcohol can have a harmful effect on the heart.It can cause high blood pressure and also damage the heart muscles .Alcohol being very high in calories can lead to weight gain.One should realise that the recommended amount of alcohol differs for men and women.
An average of one or two drinks for men and one drink for women is the recommended amount by most dieticians and heart specialists.Although , there is evidence suggesting that alcohol especially red wine may be beneficial when consumed in moderation - it still needs to be substantiated.
Smoking on the other hand increases the risk of fatality especially from heart diseases two or three fold.Smoking has a number of harmful effects on our body - it damages the lining of the arteries ,reduces the amount of oxygen that blood carries to our heart and body and makes blood more likely to clot.This is also the case with passive smokers who are exposed to the risk.
Controlling Stress levels
Increased stress levels although not a direct risk factor is related to all the above factors. A balanced diet and regular physical activity help in dealing with stress. Also, doing things you enjoy and spending time with loved ones helps us cope with stress.
If you are living with a heart condition it is important that you go for regular health checks and discuss every little detail that might be troubling you.
In heart health , prevention is always better than cure .Eating a healthy diet , being aware of risks such as smoking, drinking excessive amount of alcohol ,lack of physical activity and high stress levels will go a long way towards giving you a healthy heart. It is never too early to look after your heart.