Cardiovascular diseases, especially coronary heart disease (CHD), are an epidemic in India. To help spread awareness and encourage people to lead a more heart-healthy lifestyle here are a few tips to incorporate into your daily routine.
1) Restrict your T.V. Viewing Time
Researchers are of the opinion that people who spend more than two hours a day, in front of the television or a computer screen, run a greater risk of developing high blood pressure which in turn can lead to various cardiovascular diseases.
2) Pay Heed to Dental Hygiene
Good dental health is an indication of overall health, including your heart, because those who have periodontal (gum) disease often have the same risk factors for heart disease. Many studies in this field have shown that bacteria in our mouth leads to the development of gum-diseases which can get into our bloodstream and cause an elevation in C-reactive protein, it is an indication of inflammation in the blood vessels. These changes in the longer run, increase the risk of heart disease.
3) Having Breakfast is Very Important
People who skip breakfast are at a greater risk of developing atherosclerosis – It is the hardening and narrowing of arteries due to a buildup of plaque. Eating a healthy breakfast promote the heart’s health. Most studies suggest that having a breakfast have a much lower risk of catching a heart trouble in the longer run. Skipping breakfast regularly has been associated with hypertension and elevated blood sugar levels.
4) Don’t Sit for too Long at One Time
In recent years, research has suggested that staying seated for a longer period of time is bad for your health. This is a bad news for many people who have a desk job and have to sit all day. Researchers found that people who spent their day sitting had an increase of 147% in cardiovascular events. In addition, sitting for a longer period of time especially while traveling increases the risk of deep vein thrombosis (blood clot).
Hence it’s very important to move throughout the day. Park your vehicle far away from the office, take the stairs, and take short walks throughout the day.
5) Eat Healthy Fats
We need fats in our diet, including saturated and unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. One fat we don’t need is trans fat because it is known to increase the risk of developing heart disease or having a stroke over a lifetime. This is because trans fat can clog your arteries by raising your bad cholesterol levels (LDL) and lowering good cholesterol levels (HDL). Cut down the trans fats and consume more of healthy fats.
6) Do not Consume too much Salt
When a person consumes limited salt, the kidneys efficiently flush the excess sodium out of the body. But people who consume excess salt absorb excess sodium. This can increase the amount of body fluids and lead to high blood pressure, which makes the heart work harder. Continual high blood pressure can increase the risk of developing atherosclerosis, which is the build-up of fats, cholesterol and other substances in and on the artery walls. For all these reasons, avoid eating too much salt especially raw salt because it can increase the risk of having a heart attack or a stroke.
A word of Advice
Don’t ignore symptoms of a heart problem – example panting after climbing stairs, breathlessness, missing heartbeats amd loud heartbeats. Should you experience any of these, consult a cardiologist at the earliest.
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