Fragile-To-Agile Heart In 8 Steps
EAT A HEART HEALTHY DIET
Use a small plate or bowl to help control your portions. Eat low-calorie, nutrient-rich foods, such as fruits and green vegetables. They are good sources of vitamins and minerals, are low in calories and rich in dietary fiber. Eat a healthy dietary pattern that includes 2 greens, 3 fruits, good fats, limited saturated fats and has no trans-fats.
BE PHYSICALLY ACTIVE DAILY
You need at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic physical exercise every week (like brisk walking) or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity exercise (like jogging, running) or a combination of both every week. Visit a cardiologist, if in doubt and balance your physical activity for a heart healthy life. Your heart needs a workout daily.
KEEP YOUR BP IN CHECK
High BP is one of the risk factors of heart disease. “It is responsible for 57% of all stroke deaths and 24% of all heart disease deaths in India”. However, dietary and lifestyle changes can decrease the risk of health complications. So keep your blood pressure in check by losing the extra pounds, watching your waistline, exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet and limiting salt, alcohol intake & smoking.
CONTROL SUGAR LEVEL
Sugar has always been associated with obesity, diabetes and heart disease. All extra sugar gets stored as fat in the body. This excess fat is harmful for the heart and body.
Swap your diet – biscuits with nuts and vegetable sticks; sugary breakfast cereals with porridge and oats; ice creams with yogurt and fresh fruits, aerated drinks/smoothies with water, milk, tea and coffee (with little or no sugar).
High cholesterol is a major risk factor in heart disease, stroke and vascular diseases. High levels of cholesterol lead to plaque build-up in the arteries and cause blockage in the heart.
So limit your alcohol intake, avoid smoking, exercise regularly, lose excess fat and include green vegetables in your diet. Say no to high fat foods for a heart healthy life.
AVOID STRESS AND RELAX DAILY
Stress adds to the risk factors of cardiovascular disease in a lot of cases. It is important to sleep for 7-8 hours daily. Spend quality time with oneself and with family and friends which will help relax your mind. Yoga can help the body to de-stress and can get you ‘heart healthy’ as well.
MAINTAIN AN IDEAL WEIGHT
A person’s body weight is the sum total of fat, muscles, bones, blood and water. Being overweight or underweight is harmful for the heart and the overall health of a person. Maintain an ideal weight by making timely & right choices of diet and doing regular exercise, which would help you keep High Blood Pressure, Diabetes and Heart Disease away.
LIMIT ALCOHOL, DON’T SMOKE
Nicotine in cigarettes stimulates your body to produce adrenaline, which raises your blood pressure and makes your heart work harder. Smoking damages the lining of the blood vessels which leads to cholesterol build up. This increases the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, which includes coronary heart disease & stroke. Alcohol intake can further harm your body’s health and overall wellbeing.