Expert tips to keep heart diseases at bay
We have all heard the adage “Prevention is better than cure”. We opt for diagnosis, medication and treatment after the occurrence of a disease. However, the onset of cardiovascular complications, heart attacks and strokes have necessitated the shift of focus to prevention. With healthy changes in diet and exercising, we can dramatically reverse the progression of coronary diseases and stabilize plaques thereby reducing chances of heart failures. Listed below are 6 lifestyle-based approaches to strengthen your heart.
Engage in physical activity:
Spending less time sitting and more time moving helps to control weight, lowers blood pressure, strengthens bones, reduces stress and improves sleep. Instead of static binging on television series, it is advisable to conduct at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercises daily. Resistance training and stretching also enhances flexibility. Always begin your workout routine with basic warm-up exercises to ease your body into it. If it is impossible to accommodate regular exercising into your schedule switch to walking. Baby steps like taking stairs instead of elevators and walking to the grocery store go a long way.
Lose excess body fat:
Keep aside the debates on “body shaming” and “accepting your body”. As your body weight increases plaque builds up in your arteries leading to cholesterol formation, diabetes and high blood pressure. Obesity prevents the heart to pump blood efficiently. Fat in the belly gives rise to chemicals like cytokines and steroid hormones that cause life-crippling diseases. Lower daily calorie intake, consuming generous portions of fruits, whole grains and beans, and saying no to oily street food can extend your lifespan by leaps and bounds.
From lung cancer, to kidney cancer and heart diseases, the list of adverse effects tobacco has is endless. It also hampers the health of those around you due to passive smoking. There are various scientifically-proven medications, therapy and nicotine patches to help one quit smoking. Registering for a smoking cessation program is also a positive step to a healthy life.
Keep a lid on stress:
The hurdles in life are real and it is not always feasible to handle things with a calm mind. But the next time you face a curveball, remember a sudden burst of stress can lead to high blood pressure and irritable bowel syndrome. Continuous stressing heightens the incidence of heart attacks. Sometimes binge eating due to stress leads to diabetes and cholesterol formation. Using natural tranquillizers, meditation and yoga can help you manage your stress levels. Taking stress management classes or consulting a therapist is also a great option to look into.
Go easy on the booze:
Evidence suggests a glass of red wine can raise the levels of HDL cholesterol that protects the heart. However, excessive alcohol intake leads to heart attacks and strokes. Heavy drinkers encounter a condition called cardiomyopathy that alters the suppleness of cardiac muscles. More alcohol has been proven to cause obesity.
Eat dark chocolate and blueberries:
Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants and helps to lower LDL which directly contributes to the development of many heart diseases. Consuming dark chocolate reduces insulin resistance. Eating blueberries every day improves cardiovascular health. Studies have found people suffering from metabolic syndrome have witnessed an improvement of their condition with a daily serving of blueberries.
Altering a few aspects of your life will give you appreciable returns in so many ways. It will boost your energy and zeal to function. Embracing the above-discussed steps will take better care of your heart making you and your loved ones lives happier and healthier.