Written by Shreeja Potluri
3 minute read
Your heart is the strongest muscle in your body. It pumps blood and oxygen that travels throughout your body, but are you taking care of it?
World Heart day falls on September 29th every year. It was created by the World Heart Federation to raise awareness about cardiovascular diseases that many people face around the world. In fact, it is the world’s leading cause of death with 17.9 million lives lost each year due to different forms of cardiovascular disease. The foundation aims to drive action to educate people on the fact that at least 80% of premature deaths from heart disease and stroke could be avoided by controlling risk factors such as tobacco use, unhealthy diet, and physical inactivity. To make it easier, we have compiled a list of 5 different ways to take care of your heart health.
1. Eat a heart-healthy diet
If you are concerned about your heart health, rather than completely avoiding fat in your diet, try replacing it with good fats. Foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, of fish fat, tend to improve blood cholesterol levels and lower your heart disease risk. Also, focus on high fiber foods as they help to lower “bad” cholesterol and provide the right nutrients that helps to protect you against heart disease.
2. Increase regular physical activity levels
Being physically active for at least 150 minutes per week is a significant step toward good heart health. It’s one of the most effective tools for strengthening the heart muscle. It is also one of the best ways to keep your weight under control and ward off the artery damage from high cholesterol, high blood sugar and blood pressure, which can all lead to a heart attack or stroke.
3. Avoid the use of tobacco
Tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke are harmful to your heart. Quitting smoking lowers your diabetes risk, improves your blood flow, and helps improve the efficacy of your heart and lungs. Life expectancy for smokers is at least ten years shorter than that of non-smokers. Quitting while you’re younger will also further reduce your health risks, but quitting at any age can give back years of life lost by continuing to smoke.
4. Avoid the use of alcohol
Alcohol consumption has been linked to more than 200 diseases and injury conditions, including cardiovascular diseases. Excessive alcohol intake can also lead to high blood pressure, heart failure, or stroke. There is no safe consumption level for drinking alcohol; therefore, it’s safer to avoid drinking alcohol altogether in order to protect your heart.
5. Check your blood pressure and blood sugar regularly
An important way to maintain a healthy heart is to have your blood pressure and blood sugar to be checked regularly, considering some people do not always show the symptoms even if they have high blood pressure. Due to this, many people become victims of heart attacks and strokes. Getting your blood sugar checked regularly is encouraged!
There you have it, 5 ways to take care of your heart and health this World Heart Day! Your heart may be the strongest muscle in the body, but only if you start taking care of it. What are some ways you keep your heart healthy?