Having a healthy heart is a basic prerequisite for a good life. And having a healthy lifestyle is the most important factor in the mission to keep your heart healthy.
We live fast and very often it is extremely hard to take care of our health properly. When we are hungry and there is no time to prepare anything, we will go and buy junk food, often fully aware of the possible long term consequences.
We drive to work because it is more practical and less time consuming than riding a bike. At work, we deal with stress every day, usually unaware of how much damage our heart takes each time we suffer a drawback or work long hours.
Living a life which does not harm our heart is impossible in this day and age. However, there are certain things which can help us significantly improve our lifestyle and ease the burden on this crucial muscle.
The tips in this article are meant to inspire you to change your life and start taking better care of yourself and your heart. If you manage to change only one of the things listed below, your body will be grateful.
Becoming and staying active can greatly reduce your risk of developing heart disease.
Doctors advise a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity each week or lesser if the physical activity being undertaken is of greater intensity.
Activities of moderate intensity are brisk walking, playing golf, recreational swimming or household activities such as cleaning windows etc.
Activities of vigorous intensity include jogging, aerobics or most sports.
Apart from the short bursts of moderate to intense activity, it is also important to stay active during the rest of the day. If you have a sedentary desk job, make sure you get up from time to time. Walk up to your colleague instead of calling her, take a coffee break or refill your water bottle periodically.
Standing desks or Hamster-wheels at workstations are some more ideas that can help keep you active throughout your day.
Stress happens. Things do not always go as per plan. The important thing is to stay calm in these situations.
If we let these situations get the better of us, then it affects our heart adversely. In order to cope with stress, the body releases adrenaline. Adrenaline causes the heart to overwork and beat very hard.
Regular exercise helps us to cope with stress. Other ways to beat stress are talking to a friend, a trusted colleague.
In today’s world of 24/7 connectivity, where smartphones that are becoming smarter by the minute second, the office is no longer restricted by its geographic presence or by time. Work happens anytime and anywhere.
This is a major cause of the rise in stress in modern times, which leads to heart problems. Therefore, it is important to be able to disconnect from our phones, tablets and other electronic devices.
If your device offers a home or an evening mode, switch to that. Use the ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode at night to catch your zzz’s.
The healing power of sleep is very well known and documented. Your heart naturally benefits from it as well. During sleep, our body has time to rest and replenish the energy necessary for normal functioning during the day. Our heart, which keeps beating incessantly, has time to slow down and recuperate.
If you want to get the best out of your regular night’s sleep, you need to make sure you sleep enough and at the right time. The time around midnight is crucial, so try to spend it sleeping whenever possible.
Establishing a regular sleeping pattern is also very important, because your body generally likes predictability.
If you are a smoker, you need to quit. NOW! This is the single most important thing you can do for your heart.
There are many websites which can also help you to cope while you are trying to quit. Some of them will have a helpline, can assist you in finding a ‘quit coach’, and provide useful information and resources.
Fruits, Vegetables And Nuts
Make friends with these food types for a healthy heart. Easy food ideas for a healthy heart and top heart-friendly snack tip ideas can be found everywhere on the internet.
The foods and snacks basically comprise of
- Whole grains – which are rich in fibre.
- Lean meats and fish (which is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids).
- Fruits and vegetables -particularly berries.
- Nuts, seeds and legumes.
Foods to be avoided are refined carbs, fried foods and red meats. Consumption of alcohol too should be restricted.
The final tip is – always be ready to react if something unpredictable happens, because your body can surprise you even if you did everything to prevent such occurrences. It is wise to always know where to obtain the necessary aid.