- Quickly add healthy products like omega-3 fatty acids to your diet
- Exercise regularly to improve your overall health
- Stress can affect your heart health if not controlled
Taking care of the heart is important as it is one of the most important organs in the body. It is the heart that keeps you alive by pumping blood to all other organs. The incidence of heart disease has risen sharply over the years due to factors such as diabetes, high blood pressure, poor diet and obesity, sedentary lifestyle, and alcohol and tobacco use. It is important to take immediate action and make changes in your lifestyle to reduce the burden of heart disease. One must lead a heart-healthy lifestyle as the benefits of having a healthy heart can also have positive effects on general well-being. A strong heart can protect against complications associated with several chronic diseases. While age was a major risk factor for heart disease, over the years, as lifestyle evolves, more and more adolescents are discovered with heart conditions. Therefore, it is important to take care of the heart early to prevent death at a later date.
Steps for a healthy heart:
1. Choose a healthy diet –
- Whole Grains – It is recommended that you include at least one type of whole grain in your daily meals, such as cereals and millet
- Omega-3 Rich Foods – Seeds like flaxseed and chia seeds are the best sources of omega-3
- Leafy Green Vegetables – Include more greens in your daily diet as they are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, especially heart-friendly vitamin K.
- Herbs – Avoid table salt and add herbs to add flavor to the food
- Olive and Mustard Oil – Use olive and mustard oils in cooking as they contain healthy fats that are good for the heart
- Nuts and Seeds – A handful of almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, walnuts, etc. must be consumed daily
2. Hydrate yourself –
In addition to drinking water throughout the day, keep yourself hydrated with other healthy beverages like coconut water, lemon, smoothies, and homemade beverages that are low in sugar and salt.
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3. Exercise regularly –
Exercise can lower the risk of plaque building up in the arteries, which reduces blood flow. The key is to get up and move around, go for a walk, or do push-ups or sit-ups. According to the WHO, it is recommended that you do at least 150-300 minutes of physical activity / exercise every week.
4. Dealing with stress and mental well-being –
Dealing with stress can help reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke. Stress is often linked to high blood pressure and exposes the body to elevated levels of stress hormones. There are breathing exercises and meditation that can help manage stress.
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5. Control of blood pressure
High blood pressure is a common condition and a major cause of heart disease like heart attack, failure, and others. You need to check your blood pressure regularly and follow a diet that will help reduce high blood pressure.
Importance of monitoring the heart:
While the above precautions can help keep heart health in check, it is important for heart patients in particular to monitor their heart regularly. The advent of medical technologies such as remote monitoring has now made it possible for patients to conveniently monitor their heart from the comfort of their own home and send information about it to their doctor remotely. Early response also helps improve patient outcomes.
Read also: Heart Healthy Habits
When should a doctor be consulted?
Most people may avoid seeing a doctor because heart disease symptoms are common. However, it is important to get medical help if you experience symptoms such as shortness of breath, palpitations, dizziness, chest pain, shortness of breath, or pain in the throat, jaw, throat, fast or irregular heartbeat.
(Dr. Tejas Patel, Chairman and Senior Interventional Cardiologist, Apex Heart Institute, Ahmedabad)
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