Unhealthy food choices, a sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercise, smoking, and harmful use of alcohol are some reasons why an increasing number of people are prone to diabetes, heart attack, high blood pressure, and stroke these days. Even in young people, heart attack is the leading cause of death, and around 18 million people lose their lives to cardiovascular diseases each year globally.
Any of the aforementioned diseases can be prevented with changes in lifestyle. Making smart lifestyle choices such as not smoking, eating healthy, exercising regularly, and not being obese, can lower the risk of heart disease by 50%. If you follow a healthier lifestyle that includes proper diet and nutrition, physical activity, maintaining a healthy body mass index, and avoiding using tobacco, you can reduce the risk of premature death and heart disease. Following a diet that comprises vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, fish, and legumes is beneficial for your heart health. It can lower your blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart diseases.
Cardiologists suggest that following a healthy lifestyle is the key to preventing heart disease. By making the following lifestyle changes, you can drastically reduce your chances of developing cardiovascular disorders.
Eating healthy keeps your heart in good shape, improves blood pressure and cholesterol, and lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes. Your healthy diet that focuses on heart health should comprise vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean meats and fish, beans or other legumes, low-fat or fat-free dairy foods, and healthy fats such as olive oil and avocado. You should remember to take these in less quantity: salt, sugar, high sodium meals, sweetened beverages, alcohol, refined carbohydrates, processed food, saturated fat, and fried fast food, chips, and baked goods containing trans fat.
For your cardiovascular health, try to be more physically active. Just 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol and keep you at a healthy weight. Alternatively, you can also aim for 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week. Engaging in aerobic exercises such as running, swimming, brisk walking, and biking improves your heart's health. It is always better to move more than lead a sedentary life.
Chronic stress can elevate your blood pressure and increase your risk of heart disease. People cope with stress in different ways. Some people resort to unhealthy ways to cope with stress. This includes drinking, smoking, and overeating. If you want to deal with stress the healthy way then practice yoga, meditation, engage in physical activity, and relaxation exercises. However, if you are unable to manage your stress, you should consider getting a healthcare checkup often. stress is associated with other mental conditions, including anxiety and depression. Your heart health is also affected by these factors, which cause high blood pressure. Get medical treatment if you are dealing with anxiety or depression.
A person who smokes is likely to have two to three times the risk of death and at higher heart disease risk than a non-smoker. Secondhand smoke is also bad for your heart health, so remember to stay away from smokers. When you smoke, it lowers the oxygen in your blood and also raises blood pressure and heart rate. The increased heart rate is because the heart is putting in more work to ensure enough oxygen reaches the body and brain. Similarly, consuming alcohol leads to high blood pressure, and as you continue to take alcohol, it strains your heart muscles and leads to cardiovascular disease. By smoking and drinking, you increase your risk of heart attack and stroke.
Getting a good night’s sleep is very important for heart health. Sleeping very little and too long can affect your heart health and also impact other factors that put your heart at risk, such as dietary intake, exercise, weight, and blood pressure. There are several reasons for poor sleep, which include working during the night and clinical sleep disorders. If you frequently have sleepless nights, you should consider talking to a doctor. You can try incorporating a sleep schedule, doing relaxing techniques such as meditation before sleeping, exercising regularly, avoiding the use of electronic devices before bedtime, and drinking alcohol or caffeine a few hours before bed to help improve your quality of sleep.
Being obese and having a bigger waist size can not only lead to heart disease but also other health problems as well. Research suggests that there is a strong relationship between coronary heart disease and body mass index (BMI). The higher the BMI, the higher the chances of coronary heart disease. The risk of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure is likely to be up to three times higher in people who gain more than 5-9 kilograms after the age of 20 than in those who gain 5 kg or less. Sometimes, waist size is also an indication of increased health risks in people who are not overweight. A bigger waistline means visceral abdominal fat, which leads to metabolic problems, inflammation, and insulin resistance. A bigger waist size may indicate the need to change unhealthy lifestyle habits.