In today’s fast – paced world, taking care of heart health is turning out to be a task. Heart is a delicate yet vital organ as it is responsible for pumping blood to deliver oxygen, nutrients to various organs and tissues in the body. Overall, the heart plays a pivotal role in maintaining the functioning of the human body. The sudden exponential growth in heart health related diseases has become a cause of concern for people around the world. With the increase in number of deaths due to heart attacks, heart failures, and arrhythmias, there is a growing concern about maintaining heart health. However, by inculcating certain preventive measures and adopting conscious choices, we can strengthen our hearts and improve overall well-being. Here are some tips to maintain heart-health and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
- Limiting Alcohol Intake: Having moderate amount of alcohol consumption has some benefits for cardiovascular health but, doing it in excess can cause damage to the heart. So, it is suggested that if you choose to drink, do so in moderate.
- Manage stress effectively: Oxidative stress or stress in general takes a toll on overall health and affects heart health. By practicing mindfulness technique, yoga, or deep breathing exercises, one can lower stress levels and keep one’s minds calm. Being involved in hobbies such as gardening, painting or even spending time with loved ones keeps stress levels at bay and improves heart health.
- Maintaining weight: Obesity is one of the significant reasons for the increase in cardiovascular disease since it puts extra stress on the heart. By consuming a heart healthy diet i.e., equal amounts of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and vitamins and exercising, one can maintain their weight and heart health. Please remember that vigorous workouts and drastic diets don’t help in maintaining weight but rather affect your health.
- Monitor blood pressure and cholesterol: Regular health check-ups are important for identifying probable risk factors and to help overcome them. Monitor blood pressure and cholesterol regularly. High cholesterol and blood pressure damage the arteries and increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
- Exercise regularly: Regular exercise and physical activity are the chief elements in maintaining heart health. By engaging yourself in 150 mins of swimming, brisk walking, cycling, or dancing or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise scheduled for your week. Physical exercise helps reduce bad cholesterol, blood pressure, and maintain weight, all of which are crucial for maintaining a healthy and ailment free heart.
- Set a Balanced Diet: Prioritizing a balanced diet sets the foundation for a healthy heart. By including equal amounts of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and lean proteins such as fish, meat one gets the required amount of proteins, vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals that help in protecting the heart from damage due to oxidative stress. Inclusion of healthy fats through olive oil, avocado and nuts are also a must for a healthy heart.
- Avoid smoking: Smoking is one of the major causes of rise in cardiovascular diseases. Quitting smoking is the only solution for protecting your heart health. Smoking damages the blood vessels, decreases oxygen levels in the blood and increases blood pressure thus putting excessive strain on the heart.
In conclusion, adapting a heart healthy lifestyle through preventive measures by adopting healthy habits is a proactive method of maintaining overall health and heart. To keep your heart healthy and safe, gain knowledge, stay aware and take charge of your health. Remember, small and consistent changes lead to a happier and healthier life.
Dr. Narendara S Hiregoudar, Senior Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, HCG Suchirayu Hospitals