Your heart works 24X7, beating every second, pumping blood to the other organs and keeps you alive. You know what your heart does for you, but do you know what you can do for your heart? Often we fail to realize that the things we do, knowingly or unknowingly, can affect our heart adversely.
Here are a few ways in which you can keep your heart healthy:
1. Healthy Breakfast:
Skipping breakfast often? because you are pressed for time in the morning, then you are making your heart suffer in silence. Studies suggest that if you skip breakfast every day you are 27% more likely to suffer from coronary heart diseases as compared to those who have a healthy breakfast. On the other hand, having a healthy breakfast would keep you energetic, regulate blood sugar levels, save you from mid-morning bingeing and help keep your heart healthy.
2. Exercising is a Good Habit:
This isn’t something you didn’t know. However, the importance of exercise and heart health cannot be stated enough. You can have lots of excuses to not hit the gym or exercise – lack of time, a busy schedule, balancing between home and work, etc. But there are ways in which you can incorporate some physical activity into your day to day life. Some tips that he suggests to be physically active throughout the day are:
- Take stairs instead of lifts or escalators.
- Park your car at the far end of the parking area so that you could walk to the office.
- Take a walk after dinner.
- Go cycling, swimming, trekking or jogging on the weekends.
- Play your favorite sport rather than watching it. Plan a get-together with your buddies on weekends or keep an hour after office reserved for your sport.
3. Try Weight Lifting:
Weight training can be very effective in regulating your heart functions. Continuous weight training has other benefits like weight loss, improved cardiovascular strength, muscular strength, balanced cholesterol level, better blood circulation and flexibility. Remember, for weight training you don’t have to hit the gym always. Get a pair of dumbbells and start exercising at home.
4. Brush and Floss Daily:
Your oral health is innately related to your heart health. Recently a Harvard study also pointed out that there is a direct connection between one’s oral and coronary health. This is because the bacteria found in the mouth cavity can cause blood clotting in the arteries or even leads to a heart attack. So you should diligently follow a routine of brushing and flossing twice daily and visit a dentist at least once in a year.
5. Reduce Stress:
It is essential to take necessary steps to reduce the impact of stress in your life at least for your heart’s sake. When you are stressed or depressed your brain releases stress hormones such as cortisol. If your body is exposed to such negative hormones for a long period, then it may lead to imbalanced cholesterol level, high blood pressure and affect blood sugar level. All these issues may lead to severe heart disease.
6. Check your Salt:
Too much of salt intake does not work in favor of your heart. Excessive salt intake increases water retention in the body. If there is too much of the fluid in the body, then internal organs such as kidneys and heart would need to work harder to function and eliminate the toxins. However, do not cut down on your salt intake drastically. Try and maintain a low sodium intake as much as possible.
7. Quit Smoking:
Smoking is harmful to you in many ways. This is because nicotine gets stored in the arteries and over a period can make them narrower making it difficult for blood and oxygen to flow through them. This could put undue pressure on the heart.
8. Watch What you eat:
What you eat also has an effect on your heart. Make it a point to choose your food cautiously. Seasonal vegetables and fruits should be an essential part of your diet. Super foods such as broccoli, spinach, oats, oranges and berries should be a part of your diet as they are excellent for your heart. Drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated.
9. Go for a Health Checkup:
Going for an annual health checkup after the age of 30 is a good idea. Most lifestyle diseases are silent in nature, and you only realize the severity of the disease when it has reached an advanced stage. So keep a tab on your health going for annual checkups and get the advice from our cardiologists.
10. Have at least 8 Hours of Sleep:
Make up for your sleep deficit of the week during your weekends. Sleep shouldn’t be optional for you but a priority. Sleep deprivation can lead to imbalances in blood circulation, increase stress, disrupts blood glucose levels all of which have a negative impact on the heart.