Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) such as heart attacks, strokes, and other circulatory diseases are currently the leading cause of premature death around the world. In addition to being the primary cause of death, CVDs result in severe illness and disability for life, and economic loss of hundreds of billions of dollars every year. Though there are many treatment options available today, the number of people with CVDs seems to be increasing day by day. A statistics report by the American Heart Association states that CVD will be the cause of more than 23.6 million deaths by 2030.
The major obstacle to bringing down this number is shifting peoples’ mindset from being reactive towards their healthcare to being proactive. Like doctors and clinicians, they too need to invest some time in reading about the latest medical articles. Incorporating certain habits into your lifestyle can help you keep your heart healthy. With that in mind, we bring you ten smart ways to get your heart on the road to better health.
- Genetic Testing
Prevention is better than cure. Remember this adage? How many of us follow this when it comes to our health?
Would you prefer to be diagnosed with a CVD and undergo treatments or take preventive measures well in advance to live your life without heart disease? I’m sure you chose the latter. Now some may say that there are certain factors you cannot control. Studies have, after all, repeatedly pointed out that some individuals can have a genetic predisposition to heart disease. The answer to it is genetic testing. Reputed genetic testing companies in India, like truGeny, provide home-based kits to analyze your genes and assess the risk of CVDs. The sooner you learn about your risk, the better you’ll be able to take control of your heart health.
- Watch How Much Red Meat You Eat
Red meat is right for your body as it provides iron and proteins, but when consumed in excessive amounts, can elevate the risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and colorectal cancer. So, it’s advisable to drink it two or three times a week. Also, look for lean sources when choosing red meat. If you are a meat-eater, you may want to get your protein from sources like fish that’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids, poultry, beans, and low-fat dairy products.
- Eat More Dark-Colored Fruits and Vegetables
Eating fruits and vegetables is fine, but why dark? Researchers have pointed out that fruits and vegetables that are most profound in color contain a higher concentration of antioxidants. As you may know, antioxidants are a great way to prevent a number of heart diseases.
So, the next time you go grocery shopping, don’t forget to fill up your carts with loads of apricots, carrots, eggplants, grapes, blackcurrants, broccoli, and so on.
- Keep Calm & Drink in Moderation
Here’s some good news to those who love to drink. Alcohol (especially wine) consumption in moderation can have a lower risk for CVDs.
Remember: Moderation means one drink a day for women or two drinks a day for men.
You must also watch for your caffeine consumption. Too much of it can act as a central nervous system stimulant, which in turn puts stress on the heart.
- Maintain Good Oral Hygiene
Surprised? Studies have shown that those diagnosed with periodontal (gum) disease often have the same risk factors for heart disease. Also, the bacteria in the mouth that’s involved in the development of gum disease can seep into the bloodstream and cause an increase in C-reactive protein, which is a marker for inflammation in the blood vessels. These changes can heighten your risk for CVDs. Hence, it’s essential to practice good dental hygiene and remember to floss daily.
- Make Time to Workout
Most of us lead hectic lives and have no time to work out, but you have to make time. Doing intense exercise every day can help ward off heart disease and maintain a healthy heart. Start small, but do start today. The more you delay it, the tighter it gets.
- Get Adequate Sleep
Sleep deprivation is detrimental to heart health. People who don’t sleep enough are at higher risk for CVD, no matter their age or other health habits. Always ensure you get 7 to 8 hours of sleep most nights. You can try different techniques to relax and fall asleep quickly. If you sleep without someone who snores, you suggest them some clinically tested anti-snoring devices.
Also, many studies have shed light on the link between sleep apnea and CVD. Hence, those with the condition should get it immediately treated by a doctor.
- Don’t Stay Seated
Here’s some bad news for many people who sit at sedentary jobs all day. Staying seated for long periods can have adverse effects on your health. Observational studies in the recent past have concluded that people who sit for more extended periods have a 147 percent increase in cardiovascular events and a 90 percent increase in death caused by these events.
Experts suggest that it’s wise to move throughout the day. Step out for a short walk or choose a standing work station so you can move up and down. Physical exercise can also help here.
- Passive Smoking is Dangerous
Did you know that second-hand smoke ‘kills 600,000’ worldwide?
Several studies have highlighted that people exposed to second-hand smoke are at a 25 to 30 percent higher to develop CVD. Nonsmokers with high blood pressure or high blood cholesterol have a great chance of developing heart disease when they’re exposed to passive smoke. Why? Because the chemicals emitted from cigarette smoke lead to plaque build-up in the arteries.
- Keep Tabs On
When your blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels are kept in check, you have better knowledge about your heart health. Schedule regular check-ups with your doctor and keep good records of your vitals. It’s essential to know the optimal levels for you and take the necessary steps to reach and maintain those levels.
Have a positive outlook on life and follow these steps. You’ll be doing your red heart a favor.
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