7 Lifestyle changes to a Healthy Heart
“It’s never too late to take your heart health seriously & make it a priority.”
Early adulthood is a key time to adopt healthy lifestyle habits to prevent heart disease in middle age. The attainment of ideal heart health declines with age, studies suggest that individuals who made an effort to improve their lifestyle at an early age saw improvements in their heart structure and function later in life. In this article, I will tell you how to have a healthy heart.
WHAT IS IDEAL HEART HEALTH?
According to American heart association, there are seven (7) metrics which defines an ideal heart health:
- Healthy and balanced diet
- Healthy weight, a BMI < 25
- Untreated blood cholesterol<200 mg/dl
- Untreated blood pressure < 120/80 mmHg
- Fasting blood glucose <100mg/dl
- Greater than 150 mins of moderate physical activity per week
- No smoking
7 STEPS TO AN ACTIVE LIFESTYLE AND A HEALTHY HEART
Eat a heart-healthy diet:
Take more vegetables & fruits, whole grains, fish, chicken in your meals. Limit the salt & sugar intake, saturated fats like butter, ghee.
Increase your physical activity, at least 150 minutes of moderate activity per week like brisk walking, or aerobics. It lowers the cholesterol as maintains a healthy body weight.
Smoking damages the lining of the arteries which leads to fatty deposition in the arteries known as plaques. It narrows the artery and can lead to angina or heart attack
Control your blood sugar(fasting blood sugar<100mg/dl):
Over time, high blood sugar can damage the blood vessels & the nerves that control the heart. People with high blood sugar(Diabetes) tend to develop heart disease at a much younger age.
Watch your cholesterol(<200mg/dl):
Fat lodged in the arteries is a disaster waiting to happen. A low LDL(bad cholesterol) is considered good for heart health. Lifestyle factors such as a diet high in saturated fats and trans fats like processed junk food, deep fried food items can raise LDL.
Low HDL(Good cholesterol) puts you at higher risk for heart disease. Lifestyle factors like smoking, being overweight and being sedentary can all result in low HDL.
Triglyceride is the most common type of fat in the body. A high triglyceride level with low HDL or high LDL is associated with building up of fatty deposits in the artery walls & increases the risk of heart disease.
Aim for a healthy weight(BMI<25):
A healthy and balanced diet, watching the calorie intake and physical activity is the only way to maintain a healthy heart. Obesity increases the risk of high cholesterol, high Blood pressure as well as type 2 Diabetes, all of these factors heighten a person risk of heart disease.
Monitor your blood pressure:
It is the major risk for heart disease, an uncontrolled B.P with a sedentary lifestyle puts extra pressure on the heart to beat more efficiently, which results in heart failure if not treated early. Limit the salt intake and be physically active.
Stress is a major component of cardiac events. It may not cause disease but can trigger a heart attack.
Everyone feels stressed out at some point in time, and how they manage the stress plays a very important role in predicting the heart health. In any stressful situations, the body releases adrenaline, a hormone, that causes Blood pressure to increase, breathing & heart rate temporarily are increased. Some will start smoking & drinking more than usual to manage their “stress”.
Managing stress at an early stage is always a good idea for your overall health especially heart health.
Enjoying a healthy diet, maintaining a positive attitude, not drinking too much coffee and maintaining a healthy weight are few ideas for the stress management
Is there too much stress in your life? Take this short 10 questions quiz to assess your stress levels.
TAKE THE QUIZ:
- I get upset by quite small things.
- I sometimes find it difficult to breathe even when I’m resting.
- I tend to overreact very often.
- I get impatient if I was delayed in any way, like elevators, traffic lights, or people who kept me waiting.
- I feel scared without any good reason.
- I get up very early in the morning and find it difficult to go to sleep
- I am irritable most of the time
- I take a long time to calm down after something upset me…
- I binge eat or eat excessively.
- Have you been smoking or drinking more than usual if you do so?
If 6 or more questions are correct – you are severely stressed and need professional help
If 4 questions are correct- you are moderately stressed out and need to work out on your stress levels
If only 2 questions are correct – you are anxious but if not corrected can lead to chronic stress
Contact our qualified nutrition and holistic health experts at My22BMI for a one time Free Consultation Call.
Subscribe to our monthly Newsletter for more health and nutrition tips.
My22BMI is a digital healthcare startup addressing the problem of managing lifestyle diseases through personalised diet plans. My22BMI empower lives to eat healthy and smartly and believe food should be your first medicine. The expert health coaches provide personalised diet plans for heart health, gut health, skin & hair health, weight management, mother & child nutrition and hormonal health. Download our Android app from the Google playstore.