Healthy Heart Tips for a Healthy Life
The key to a healthy and active life is a healthy heart. The heart is one of most important organs in the body as it pumps blood and oxygen to all our organs. If the heart does not get the care it needs, serious problems can develop in the lining of the arteries, leading to plaque formation that leads to heart attacks and blockage of blood flow in the arteries. This can further cause chest pain or a heart attack.
Tips for maintaining a healthy heart
1. Eat a balanced diet
A healthy diet can reduce the risk of acquiring heart disease and protect the heart by lowering cholesterol, blood pressure levels and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
What to avoid and what to eat:
- Eat more fruit and vegetables
- Control portion size
- Select whole grains
- Limit unhealthy fats such as trans fats and saturated fats.
- Limit or reduce salt intake
- Include low-fat protein sources like fish, lean meat, and fat-free dairy products.
2. Limit Alcohol and Quit Smoking
To reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, it is very important to limit your alcohol intake and refrain from smoking tobacco. Smoking reduces blood oxygen levels and increases blood pressure and heart rate because the heart works harder to provide enough oxygen to the body and brain. Alcohol is toxic to the heart muscle, causing it to weaken and increasing the chances of dilated cardiomyopathy, which results in heart failure symptoms.
Tips for quitting alcohol consumption and smoking:
- Start by cutting down the number of drinks or cigarettes per day
- Have smaller sized drinks
- Focus on limiting or quitting one habit at a time
- Delay method, such as putting off having a cigarette if possible
- Choose smoke-free zones
- Keep your mouth busy by chewing hard candy or gum.
3. Exercise Regularly
Physical activity on a regular basis can lower the risk of heart disease. Being physically active helps a person manage their weight and reduce their chances of developing conditions that can stress their heart, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes. It is recommended to do any physical activity for at least 30 to 60 minutes a day.
Ideal exercises for a healthy heart:
- Brisk walking
- Yoga and breathing exercises
4. Avoid Stress
Excessive stress leads to chronic fatigue and can also cause heart disease. Some people handle stress in unhealthy ways, such as overeating, drinking alcohol or smoking. So, it is essential to stay calm and find alternative ways to manage stress, such as physical activities, relaxation exercises or meditation can help improve heart health.
Tips to reduce stress
- Exercise regularly
- Laugh as much as you can as it reduces stress hormones
- Deep breath or meditate
- Taking short breaks from work
- Listen to calming music
- Get social
- Take a nap
5. Sleep Well
Sleep is important for maintaining a healthy heart. Despite the age or other health habits, one may be at greater risk for cardiovascular disease if they do not get enough sleep.
Tips to help you sleep well:
- Try not to watch television or use your mobile phone when lying down. These devices disrupt sleep.
- Pay attention to the quality of bedding used.
- Provide an ideal environment in the bedroom for comfort.
- Get enough sleep of at least 7 to 8 hours every night
6. Get Regular Health Checks
High blood pressure and high cholesterol are silent killers that can cause damage to the heart and blood vessels. A person may not know they have these diseases unless they get tested. Regular health checkups can help determine our health and take preventive steps to control or manage the symptoms.
Tests required for a healthy heart:
- Blood pressure: BP levels should be measured at least once every two years to detect high blood pressure as it is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
- Cholesterol: Usually, cholesterol screening begins at age 20, although earlier screening may be recommended if the person has a family history of early heart diseases. Having your cholesterol measured at least every four to six years is recommended for adults.
- Type 2 diabetes screening: Diabetes is a major risk factor for heart disease. A doctor may recommend early screening if a person is overweight or has a family history of diabetes.
7. Maintain a Healthy Weight
One of the factors contributing to high blood pressure, cholesterol problems, and diabetes – and making us more vulnerable to cardiovascular disease – is obesity. Maintaining a healthy BMI (Body Mass Index) plays an important role in preventing heart problems, chronic fatigue, and other diseases.
Tips to keep your weight in check
- Maintain a healthy diet
- Calculate your BMI regularly to determine whether you have healthy or unhealthy body fat.
- Exercise regular
- Get regular health checkups
- Track what you eat
- Drink more water
When to See a Doctor?
Chest pain differs from person to person based on the quality, duration, severity, and location. There are many causes of chest pain. Some of which are more serious than others.
- Left Side chest pain: Pain in the left side of the chest can be serious. It could be a heart attack or any other medical condition such as inflammation around the heart or lung disease.
- Right Side chest pain: When compared to the left side, right side chest pain is less severe. It could be caused by stress, muscle strain, heartburn, or any number of other factors.
- Angina: Angina occurs when there is insufficient oxygen-rich blood flowing to a specific part of the heart. Angina usually does not cause significant heart damage.
- Heart Attack: A heart attack occurs when cholesterol accumulates in the coronary artery, obstructing blood flow to the heart. The heart muscle is injured when there is no blood flow in the arteries.
- Stent Pain: Pain might appear in the middle or left side of the heart and occurs in those who have undergone stent surgery.
Understand your pain, and seek immediate medical attention if you experience chest pain in the middle of your chest that crushes or squeezes you and is accompanied by any of the following symptoms:
- Vertigo or lightheadedness.
- Pain which extends to the jaw, neck, one or both arms and shoulders.
- Shortness of breath
- Nausea or vomiting.
- Fast or irregular heartbeat.
Any new, severe, or persistent chest pain should be discussed with your doctor. This is particularly important for adults who have a history of heart or lung disease.
To live a healthy and active life, your heartbeat should be free of complications. Nurture your heart under expert supervision and care with Apollo homecare’s heart rehabilitation at home. Heart rehab at home is specially designed for heart patients’ post-surgery to reduce recurrence and promote a safe and speedy recovery.
To experience Apollo Homecare’s professional health care services at your doorsteps.
Reach us out on 1800 102 8586