According to the World Health Organization, 17.9 million people die every year because of cardiovascular/ heart disease.
What have you done to take care of your heart health?
Nothing? We have this life because of every beat it makes. Yet, we forget that it also needs to be taken care of. It’s prime time to know and follow specific methods which lower the risk of heart disease.
10 Ways to lower the risk of heart disease
1. Manage Your Weight
It is essential to stay at a healthy weight for a host of reasons. Being overweight often results in high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol, leading to concerns about heart diseases. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that you maintain a healthy weight and do not catch yourself slipping to the side of obesity.
Remember, being at a healthy weight doesn’t always mean having washboard abs and rippling muscles. Often certain underlying factors such as PCOD, low thyroid etc., cause uncontrollable weight gain. Visit your doctor and be healthy, as opposed to skinny.
2. Exercise Regularly
Taking care of your heart and body, in general, require you to be healthy, and the best way to do this is to remain active. Exercising is a great way to maintain a healthy weight, and what’s more, it also improves circulation and strengthens your heart, keeping heart diseases at bay!
Get your thirty minutes of physical activity every day, and your blood pressure and cholesterol levels will stay low too! A daily dose of physical activity lowers the risk of heart diseases and also helps improve sleep, control stress levels, etc.
3. Eat Healthy Foods
This one adds to the first two points. The aim of eating clean and healthy is to ensure that your cholesterol levels and blood pressure remain low. It is important to avoid saturated fats, foods high in sodium content and sugar, and stick to healthy fats, vegetables and fruits.
4. No more Smoking
Want straightforward advice? Quit smoking.
If you smoke, quit. If you know anyone who smokes, ask them to quit. Second-hand smoke or passive smoking is equally harmful.
Various chemicals present in tobacco are sure to damage the blood vessels. Besides, the smoke reduces the required oxygen level in blood which results in high blood pressure. Eventually, your heart will have to do more work.
Quitting isn’t easy, but not impossible, at least. And If you do so, you are pretty likely to survive than smokers. Rest you are smart enough to choose what is correct.
5. Minimise Alcohol Consumption
Most of us turn to alcohol to celebrate or if we’re looking to have a fun time. Fun as it may seem at the time, there are several reasons why one should either quit or limit their alcohol intake. Too much alcohol can lead to high blood pressure, which is no good for your heart. Another reason to quit is weight gain. Alcoholic drinks are filled with calories that will lead to you gaining a tremendous amount of weight, which is the leading cause of heart disease.
6. Managing Stress
Getting stressed in certain situations is normal. But if it happens very often, that’s a problem.
Stress affects everyone differently. Lack of sleep and headaches are common effects of stress. All of these exhaust the body. Chronic stress can even cause your heart to work harder.
To reduce stress, you may try exercise, meditation etc.
7. Keep Anger At Bay
It is normal to feel anger from time to time. But as is the case with stress, excessive anger at all times negatively affects your body and leaves you at risk of heart diseases. To keep anger and irritation at bay, meditation, ample sleep, exercise, and healthy food go a long way. If your anger is excessive and unmanageable, it is best to try therapy for the sake of your mental as well as physical health.
8. Lowering Blood Pressure
High blood pressure does no good to your body. It increases stress on your body. To lower it, you can follow several methods like exercising, weight management, avoiding smoking, lessening alcohol consumption, etc. It would be best to cut down sodium intake by limiting fast foods and processed food in your diet.
9. Monitoring Cholesterol Levels
Your risk of heart disease increases if you have high cholesterol levels. You only have to make sure that the proper ‘good and bad cholesterol levels are maintained. LDL or the ‘bad cholesterol is awful for your heart. It forms plaque in the arteries. On the other hand, good cholesterol prevents the formation of plaque.
10. Managing diabetes
A serious risk factor for our heart is diabetes. When left untreated, it has a very harmful effect on the body. It may cause stroke, artery diseases, and much more complications in the body. A healthy lifestyle is all you need if you want to manage diabetes.
Heart disease is a serious problem nowadays. Risk factors like age or family history of heart diseases are not in our hands. But with an improved lifestyle and controlling risk factors in our hands, one can lower the risk of heart diseases.