Heart disease considered as the leading cause of death, but that does not mean that you have to accept this fact without doing something. Although some factors cannot be changed like family history, age or sex, there are some preventive ways you can do to reduce the risk of having a heart disease. Heart problem prevention can be done by having a healthy lifestyle. Here are some prevention tips to get you moving.
Do not use or smoke any tobacco products
Using or smoking any forms of tobacco is considered as one of the most significant risk factors for getting heart disease. Chemicals found in tobacco can damage your blood vessels and heart. It will lead to narrowing of your arteries because of atherosclerosis or plaque buildup. Atherosclerosis can eventually lead to heart complications, including heart attack.
The carbon monoxide found in cigarette smoke will replace some of the oxygen in your blood. It will increase the blood pressure, as well as the heart rate of your body by forcing your heart to work a lot harder to meet the oxygen demand of your body to function correctly.
Women who use birth control pills and smoke at the same time are at an even higher risk of having a stroke or heart attack compared to women who do not take birth control pills or smoke since both tobacco and birth control pills can increase the risk of having blood clots.
When it comes to preventing heart disease, whether you smoke occasionally or regularly, it does not matter because smoking is hazardous. The more tobacco you smoke, the higher your risk of getting the disease. Even low-nicotine, low-tar cigarette, secondhand smoke or smokeless tobacco are also hazardous.
The good news is that the risk of having a heart attack starts to lower once you stop using or smoking tobacco products. The risk of coronary heart disease will dramatically reduce after one year of smoking cigarette. It will drop to the level of a non-smoker after 15 years. No matter how much you smoked in your life or how long you are smoking, as long as you quit it, you will be reaping all the rewards, including a healthy body.
Exercising for at least 30 minutes every day
Getting a regular exercise routine can reduce the risk of you getting heart disease. And when you combine a healthy lifestyle like maintaining your required Body Mass Index or BMI and doing regular physical activity, the payoff can be even higher. Any forms of physical activity can help people control their weight and reduce the chances of getting other conditions that can put any types of strain to the heart like diabetes, high cholesterol or high blood pressure.
In short, you need to do light to moderate exercise like brisk walking for 30 minutes, light jogging on a treadmill or some weight lifting to help you reach the Department of health recommendation of 150 minutes a week aerobic exercise, 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic exercise or a combination of both.
To get more health benefits, you can aim for at least 300 minutes per week of light to moderate aerobic exercises or 150 minutes of vigorous aerobic workouts per week. Not only that, you can aim to do a strength training regimen at least two to three days a week.
Even a short amount of light to moderate exercise can offer a lot of heart benefits, so if you cannot meet the recommended guidelines, do not give up. You can get the same benefits if you break it down into at least three 10-minute exercise regimen for the whole week.
You need to remember that activities like housekeeping, gardening, walking up and down the stairs or walking your dog will count as physical activity and count towards your total. You do not have to do strenuous activities to achieve all these benefits, but you can dramatically increase the intensity, frequency and duration of your exercise routine.
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Eat healthy foods
Eating healthy foods can help reduce the risk of getting heart disease. Examples of a heart-friendly food plan includes the Mediterranean diet and DASH or the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. A diet that is rich in vegetables, whole grains and fruits can help protect not only your heart, but everything connected to it, including your blood vessels, blood and capillaries.
You need a lot of fat-free or low-fat dairy products, beans, lean meats or fish as part of your healthy diet. You need to avoid sugars or salt at all cost. Limiting your intake of unhealthy fat is also very important. It includes polyunsaturated, saturated, monounsaturated or trans-fat. You need to avoid trans and saturated fat at all cost. Keep your saturated fat intake at a limit, at least five to six percent of your daily calorie intake.
Some good sources of saturated fat include:
Palm and coconut oils
Full-fat dairy products
Some good sources of trans fat include:
Packaged food products
Chips, cookies and crackers
Deep-fried foods found in fast food restaurants
Products that are labeled “partially hydrogenated” or “hydrogenated”
To know more about trans-fat, you can visit https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/in-depth/trans-fat/art-20046114 for more information.
The good news is you do not have to cut all types of fats in your diet. There are other sources of healthy fats from plants like nuts, olive oil, olives and avocado. It can help your body lowers bad cholesterol and help prevent heart problems. A lot of people need to add vegetables and fruits in their diet.
The goal is to get at least five to ten servings of vegetables and fruits per day. Eating vegetables and fruits not only helps you prevent heart diseases, but also enables you to improve your cholesterol levels, blood pressure, as well as improve your blood sugar level.
Eating at least two servings per week of fish like tuna or salmon can also decrease the risk of getting heart problems. Following a stringent and heart-friendly diet also means you are keeping an eye on how much alcohol you consume. If you choose to drink beer, wine or hard liquor, you should do it in moderation.
For healthy adults, it means you only consume one drink per day for men 65 years old and above, or women of all ages and at most two drinks per day for men under 65 years old. One drink is about 355 milliliters or 12 ounces of beer, 148 milliliters or 5 ounces of wines and 1.5 ounces or 44 milliliters of 80-proof distilled hard liquor. With moderation, alcohol has a protective effect on your heart, but too much alcohol can be very lethal.