- Some poor habits can put you at a higher risk of heart diseases
- Do not smoke to maintain a healthy heart
- Eat foods rich in antioxidants for better heart health
Heart diseases are affecting a huge population today. It has become one of the leading causes of deaths due to non-communicable diseases. Maintaining heart health is quite simple. You need to take care of some factors and indulge yourself in healthy practices. Simple unhealthy habits which you might not know can put you at a higher risk of heart diseases. To preserve your heart health, here are some factors which you must know. Read on to know some simple lifestyle modifications explained by Dr. Sanjay Bhat which can help you keep your heart healthy. Also, know the alarming sings of heart diseases and when to reach a cardiologist.
Heart health: Do's and Don'ts of a healthy heart
1. Practice conscious eating
The quality and quantity of food a person eats has a huge impact on the heart. One must eat a well balanced diet with sufficient fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds and stay well hydrated. Natural, organic and home-made foods are easier for the body to process and put less stress on the heart. One must also watch their portion sizes - over-eating of any kind, even over-eating healthy foods are bad for the heart.
2. Incorporate more physical activity in your daily life
The heart is a muscle - like other muscles in the body, physical activity strengthens the heart and improves the level of oxygen intake in the body. Enough exercise reduces cholesterol levels in the body, lowers blood pressure and helps keep the arteries clear. Spending about 30 minutes per day for a good exercise routine has great benefits for the heart - opt for taking jogs or brisk walking in a park with plenty of greenery for added health benefits.
3. Dedicate enough time to your mental health
Excessive stress, anxiety and depression plays a direct role in affecting the heart health. During moments of stress, anxiety and depression the body produces higher levels of stress hormones cortisol, the breathing becomes shallow and the heart starts to go into overdrive. Someone who is dealing with these issues will also tend to neglect other aspects of life such eating healthy and eating on time, over sleeping or sleeping too little.
1. Don't skimp on your sleep
Not many people are aware of the harmful effects of not sleeping enough. It is important to maintain good quality of sleep for the right amount of time because this is when the body replenishes itself and recovers from the activities of the day. Without sufficient sleep, people are more prone to developing higher blood pressure and have increased risk for heart disease.
2. Avoid drug abuse - tobacco, alcohol, and other substance abuse
All narcotic substances affect the way the blood pumps blood. Drug overuse has been linked to increased blood pressure, weakening of the heart tissues, and long-term deterioration of the heart health. Substance abuse could also increase a person's risk of developing stroke, brain hemorrhaging, among other critical disorders.
3. Avoid over-exercising or putting too much stress on the heart either physically or emotionally
While exercising is good for the heart, over-burdening the heart with excessive activity can be harmful. There have been several incidents of people in the gym who overdo their workout and experience cardiac arrest. Similarly someone who is more prone to anxiety attacks or is unable to handle stressful situations should not try to overdo their performance in any sphere of their life by putting undue pressure on themselves. It is better to take things slow, ensure that the physical body and mind are both developed to handle critical situations rather than jumping into it.
4. Avoid eating junk or fatty foods - don't put on too much weight
Putting on extra pounds, particularly in the waistline has been shown to have a bad effect on the heart. Extra weight the blood pressure because the heart has to work extra hard to pump blood
Consult your cardiologist in case of:
- Discomfort, pain involving upper half of the body anywhere from the lower jaws, neck, chest, shoulder, arms, forearm, little finger or upper abdomen
- Vomiting, dizziness, breathlessness, fatigue
- Disturbed sleep, snoring and sleeping problems
- Difficulty with sexual function
- Irregular Heartbeat or palpitations
- Puffy legs and feet
(Dr. Sanjay Bhat, Consultant - Interventional Cardiology, Aster CMI Hospital)
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.
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