To live a long and healthy life, it is important to maintain heart health. By reducing extra weight, eating healthy and following exercise regimen, one can reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Do you know heart diseases have become a leading cause of death worldwide? But many people still consider that ‘since I don’t have any symptoms of heart disease – I can’t have heart disease’. But the actual fact is if you have got a heart, you can have heart disease even if you don’t have any symptoms. Some of the common heart health problems include coronary heart disease, an abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia), diseases of heart valve disease, and cardiomyopathy.
A strong, healthy heart is important for living a healthy life. Adoption of healthy lifestyles is important for maintaining heart health and it is an indispensable part of the management of those with heart disease as well. Lifestyle modifications important for heart health are:
- Weight reduction: Maintain a healthy body weight (body mass index 18.5–24.9 kg/m2). If you are obese aim to reduce your weight and achieve a BMI of < 24.9 kg/m2
- Eat healthy: Consume a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grain food products and low fat dairy products. Avoid processed foods, food high in fats (saturated and total fat) and salt (reduce dietary intake of sodium).
- Be active: Do regular exercises or any other physical activity (such as brisk walking, jogging, and swimming). Any moderate physical activity for 30 minutes on most days of the week is adequate.
- Limit consumption of alcohol and quit smoking.
Having a healthy lifestyle can improve your heart health and has been shown to decrease the risk of heart diseases.
Many people think that doing just one healthy thing will take care of all of their heart disease risk such as if they exercise regularly (walk or swim) they can still smoke and remain overweight. Bu the fact is if you want a healthy heart and wish to protect your heart avoid all factors which increase the risk of heart disease. It is difficult to make all the changes in one go but you can try to make the changes gradually, one at a time and adopt an overall healthy lifestyle.
The important risk factors for heart disease are:
- Family history of heart disease
- Cigarette smoking
- High blood pressure
- High blood cholesterol
- Overweight or obesity
- Physical inactivity
According to experts most of the people who die from heart disease have at least one of these major risk factors. You can’t change risk factors such as age and family history of heart disease but all the other risk factors are modifiable. Remember that the most important step toward heart health is becoming aware of your own risk factors for heart disease and committing yourself to heart-healthy living. Whatever your age it is never too late to take steps to improve your heart health.
Read more articles on Heart Health.
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