[toc]Heart diseases have become one of the most common problems that individuals in their middle ages and above and sadly even in their early 20’s tend to suffer from. Blame it on mechanical lifestyles, stress, obesity and other similar factors, you cannot deny the fact that heart diseases are on the grow.
Though they cannot be avoided completely, you can exercise some simple steps for curbing them. Preventing heart diseases is not a one step procedure. It will mean a lot of changes in your life, but in the long run, it will prove to be very effective for you in the long run. Here are measures on preventing the same:
10 Ways To Prevent Heart Diseases
No Tobacco And Smoking
You should try to stay away from smoking and tobacco and this includes passive smoking too. Those who have been smoking regularly or consuming tobacco on a regular basis are more prone to heart diseases. The nicotine in the same tends to intervene with healthy body functions and hampers the blood inflow to the heart. It risks cancer too along with heart diseases.
This one is something that everyone knows but putting it into practice is a real menace for most. But even 20-30 minutes of exercise everyday is the key to a healthy heart. Remember that with exercising you are actually enhancing the flow of blood to the heart and pumping it up, making it more active and healthier. It also means that trans fats and other toxins blocking the heart veins and arteries are flushed out.
Being active is the key to good health. So take the stairs instead of the lift, walk when you can drive, stand around and remain active. Yoga can be done too because it is known for improving overall body and heart functions, keeping all kinds of heart diseases at bay. But you can pick any form of exercise that you like say walking, swimming, sports, cardiovascular exercises or almost anything. Just exercise 4-5 times a week for half an hour at least to stay fit and prevent heart diseases.
Track Your BMI
The body mass index, also known as BMI, is the key to preventing heart diseases. It is essential to know your BMI so that you can calculate the total amount of excess body fat in the body. There are online calculators available to help you understand the same. Anyone with a BMI of 25 or more is considered to be overweight. This means that you have higher chances of getting affected from heart diseases because of fat formation in the body.
So you need to keep a monthly tab of your BMI and reduce fat formation via exercises and diet to avoid heart diseases. Remember that with age, most people tend to get negligent about fat formation. However, this is the time when the body weakens and you need to exercise more caution. So keep your weight and waistline in check to keep BMI in check and thus avoid heart diseases.
A healthy diet is the key to a good heart and this means a lot of alterations. You cannot keep on loading your plate with caffeine and trans-fats and deep fried foods. No you cannot eliminate them absolutely from your diet but reduce their consumption to once or twice a week. Have them in smaller portions. Opt for high fiber diets that keep the heart healthy like oats, pulses, legumes, etc.
Opt for fresh fruits and veggies and have at least 5 varieties of these combined everyday. Along with this, have low fat milk instead of full fat and stay away from red meats. Roast and grill when you can fry. To prevent heart diseases, processed and packaged foods should be strictly avoided and restricted to occasions. Salads should be a part of your everyday meal.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
It is said that a healthy heart means a healthy body and Omega 3 fatty acids help you attain just that. The foods that are rich in this fatty acid contains polyunsaturated fats that are healthy and give your heart a good boost. It has a fatty acid that protects the heart from different kinds of infections and diseases. Opt for salmon, walnuts, etc. Also go for canola oil or even walnut oil. Flaxseeds are another way to increase fiber intake in the diet along with having more of omega-3 fatty acids. You can have these in the form of sprinklers on cereal, yogurt or even just soak them and add it to your favorite salads.
To prevent heart diseases, you should also keep your cholesterol levels in check and this should be done at all ages. You should start at the age of 20-25 and go for cholesterol level checks every couple of years. If the levels are not in check, they could indicate poor lifestyle and diet and thus medications may be needed. Remember that checking these levels could prevent heart diseases and prevent them from happening in the first place.
Blood Pressure Check
Checking the blood pressure on a regular basis is also mandatory for keeping heart diseases away. There are a lot of screen tests available for checking the same. Now, the blood pressure can also be checked at home and this should be done on a monthly basis. High blood pressure means more risks of heart disease, so watch-out for for pressure levels.
Say No To Trans fats
All kinds of trans fatty acids are known to have a bad impact on the lipid profiles, which means that you have higher risks of cardiovascular disease. Butter and margarine are common sources of this fat and should be avoided. You should try to have healthier monounsaturated fats along with omega-3 fatty acids instead to prevent heart diseases.
A glass of wine a day is healthy but overdose of alcohol risks heart diseases too. Remember, excessive alcohol increases blood pressure along with blocking the arteries. It increases risks of all kinds of heart diseases, especially heart attacks.
Along with the above suggested changes, do enjoy life and indulge in activities that reduce stress. Spend time with your family, pets, go on vacations, do meditation, enjoy movies and most importantly, manage stress. Something as simple as a regular massage can help you de-stress too and thus prevent heart diseases.