Protecting the heart: Start today for a healthy tomorrow
- Switch to a healthier diet with more fruits, vegetables.
- Regular physical exercise is crucial for your heart
- Avoid too much of alcohol.
A healthy heart is all we want however often we fail to look after it. It is very important to have a healthy heart to prevent heart disease and stroke. You can wish as much as you want to have a healthy heart but nothing will help you unless you do something. Being physically active is requirement to have a healthy heart. You should follow these tips for as long as you can through your life.
Eat at least 5 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables for a healthier life.
Banish that salt shaker from the dinner table
Never add extra salt on top of your food. Excess sodium intake causes hypertension.
If you must drink, ensure that it’s no more than 2 drinks a day for men and a drink a day for women.
Walk for your heart
It’s the best heart healthy exercise and will not cost you a rupee. Every step you take during the day builds up your heartbalance & helps prevent disease.
When you go up, your blood pressure goes down. Take the stairs for a healthier life.
Build up to at least 30 minutes of activity, five times per week. Try two 15-minute sessions or three 10-minute sessions to meet your goal. However, don’t exercise right after meals, or when it's very hot and humid. Always warm-up before exercise and cool down after you are done.
Avoid high fat foods
Substitute lower-fat foods for higher-fat ones. Some examples include skim or 1% milk for whole milk. Saturated fats are typically solid at room temperature. Try the squeeze test: the firmer the fat, the more it's saturated. AVOID AT ALL COSTS!
Reduce sodium intake
Reduce your sodium intake to no more than 2400 mg of sodium or 1 1/4 teaspoons of salt per day.
Know your numbers
The first step towards better health is to know where you stand currently. For that it is very important for you to know your health numbers. Get your lipid profile, blood sugar levels and BP regularly checked. Have regular physical exams that include tests to see if, your are at risk for cardiovascular disease.
Don’t let the weighing scale rule you
It is important to maintain a healthy weight, according to your height, but it is more important to eat a healthful diet & exercise regularly.
Follow your grandparents
Every day fad diets spring up, and foods tend to go in and out of fashion, as fast as clothes. The ‘sensible diet’ preached and followed by our forefathers is the best for health. Eat healthy & don’t crash diet.
Get yourself checked
Keep a tab on your last visit to your Doctor. Don’t miss your follow-ups. It is always advisable to go in for a complete health checkup at least once a year.
Sugar is not so sweet
If you have diabetes, keep the blood sugars under ‘tight control’. Remember, physical activity is the best way to burn off excess sugar in the blood. Those with diabetes are more prone to heartdisease, especially women.
Image Courtesy : Getty
Specialization : CardiologistSep 06, 2017
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