We are not able to find time for ourselves because of our busy life schedules. How ironic it is that everybody wants a healthier lifestyle in this fast-paced world. Still, everyone has reasons for not being healthy and being lazy if we put it more appropriately. An unhealthy lifestyle leads to bad health, especially heart health.
Our heart is a mainstay of a body. You should take care of it to be healthy. To maintain a healthy heart-healthy lifestyle and diet is mandatory. A good and healthy lifestyle is a choice that you have to make daily. Cardiovascular diseases (CVD), which include Rheumatic and Coronary Heart Diseases, are the leading cause of death worldwide. According to WHO (World Health Organization), 17.9 million die of CVD every year.
The American Heart Association (AHA) researched and declared seven main risks related to heart health. A study shows that if people optimize their lives according to these factors, the chance of heart diseases and death decreases by 78%.
The factors defined by AHA and the best hospitals in the UAE have to for a healthier life and heart are discussed below.
- 1. Smoking Status
- 2. Physical Activity
- 3. Weight
- 4. Diet
- 5. Blood Glucose
- 6. Cholesterol
- 7. Blood Pressure
Smoking is responsible for many diseases because tobacco gradually eats up your body. It is responsible for 90% of lung and one-third of heart-related deaths. It affects nearly every part of your body’s heart, lungs, blood vessels, eyes, mouth, bladder, reproductive organs, digestive organs, and bones.
The chemicals that penetrate your body through smoking damage your blood cells. The function and structure of blood vessels are also destroyed via smoking, eventually damaging heart health. This damage will increase the risk of atherosclerosis (buildup of plaque in arteries). Smoking also results in Peripheral Arteries Diseases with an increased risk of a heart attack.
Quit smoking, and it will lead you to a healthier life. Decide to quit either gradually or cold turkey. Prepare yourself for smoke cravings and the stress of leaving. If you need help, ask for support, and stick with it because one year after quitting, you will reduce the rate of risks by 50% after five years, you are as similar as a nonsmoker because your body will heal gradually.
Physical movement is the most important thing to practice in a daily routine. Exercise daily. Dedicate 2 hours a day to your exercise. If you are comfortable doing two consecutive hours, take breaks between or start with at least 30-minutes of exercise.
It improves heart health and improves the circulation of blood. The improved blood circulation will then increase oxygen levels in the body. Exercise also mitigates the risk of heart diseases such as coronary artery disease, high cholesterol, and heart attack. It can also reduce your B.P. (blood pressure) and triglyceride levels.
Exercise also improves your mood, brain health, and the strength of your muscles. Adults are advised to exercise 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity. And the Kids are supposed to get 60 minutes of physical activity daily to have a healthier lifestyle.
Losing weight takes dedication. It may be hectic initially, but you will get used to it if you are committed to getting long term benefits. Even a little amount of weight loss improves your health. For instance, consistent with the report of the NWCR (National Weight Control Registry), people who maintained weight loss have shown improvements in physical health, i.e., general mood, energy levels, physical mobility, and self-confidence.
To lose weight:
- Learn your BMI (Body Mass Index) and see whether you need to lose weight or not.
- Plan, eat-in portions, reduce your calorie intake, and increase calorie usage to burn stored elements in the body.
- Be active and consistent with achieving your goal.
A healthy diet ensures a healthy heart and a healthy life. It is your first line of defense to prevent any disease. Eating better includes whole grains, vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, lean animal proteins, fish, etc. you should avoid refined carbs, added sugar, sodium-rich food, and avoid trans-fat and hydrogenated oils.
According to AHA, to have good heart health, you should eat in portions to fulfill your calorie needs, i.e., 3 cups of low fat or fat-free dairy, 2.5 cups of vegetables, 2 cups of fruits, 6 ounces of grains, 5.5 ounces of proteins and three tablespoons of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated oil.
The carbs and sugars turn into glucose through the digestive system. But high levels of sugar significantly affect the heart, eyes, kidneys, etc. Increased blood sugar levels could increase the risk of diabetes and decrease your health conditions. So do keep track of your blood sugar level. Keep your blood sugar level under 100 mg/dl to have a healthy heart.
Cholesterol is a fat-like substance that comes from food and the body. It travels in the body in the form of lipoprotein. There are two types of lipoproteins HDL (high-density lipoprotein) known as good cholesterol and LDL (low-density lipoprotein) known as bad cholesterol. Control cholesterol levels would prevent arteries from blockage and keep yourself healthy.
Maintain your blood pressure normal. Healthy blood pressure keeps your veins, arteries, and heart safe, thus keeps you healthy. High and low blood pressures could prove fatal if it exceeds the borderline. Keep your blood pressure at 120/80 mmHg.
By keeping everything in check, you could reduce the damage you are causing to your body. With everything mentioned above, remember to keep yourself hydrated. Stay active and cheerful, and live a healthier life.