Even though you might feel that the odds are against you regarding heart disease, your family history, sex or age does not have to be the only deciding factors. It is in your power to prevent cardiac problems by following a few tips and tricks and change your lifestyle to a healthy one. It only takes a few small sacrifices in order for you to take care of your heart. You can start prevent cardiac problems today!
For general well-being it is important to get in daily exercise. The ideal would be to exercise for 30 minutes at a time for at least five days of the week. Combined with a healthy eating plan, exercise really is one of the top ways that you can combat heart disease. You don’t need a gym membership in order for you to exercise. Start small.
– Take the stairs in stead of the lift
– When shopping, park your car far away from the entrance
– Cycle to work or the shop once a week
– Take the dog for a walk twice a week
– Blast some music and clean the house
– Do jumping jacks while watching television
Say no to tobacco
The chemicals found in tobacco are seriously damaging to your blood vessels. Cigarettes contain nicotine which forces your heart to work harder, in effect narrowing your blood vessels which leads to an increase heart rate and blood pressure. By smoking you are making it much harder for oxygen to travel to your heart, increasing your risk of heart disease. Take note that women who smoke while on birth control are facing an even greater risk. The good news is, as soon as you stop- your body will start recovering. You will drastically reduce the risk of cardiac problems when you have stopped smoking for a year. Prevent spending time around other smokers as well, secondhand and social smoking is just as bad.
Worth the weight
Maintaining a healthy body weight is key to preventing cardiac problems. If you are overweight you are putting more strain and pressure on your bones, joints as well as organs. Losing a bit of weight might be just what you need to protect your heart and reduce the stress your body is feeling. Combine your healthy eating with regular exercise for the best results. Nothing is as rewarding as feeling fit and full of energy. Even though it might sound hard and take some time to get to your ideal weight, it will be worth it in the long run.
When it comes to alcoholic drinks it is important to maintain a balance. If you are abusing any substance, there will be side effects. Most fizzy alcoholic drinks have caffeine in them, which is very addictive and not healthy at all. The idea is to feed your body with what it needs and not always what it craves. If you do enjoy occasional drinks try to opt for a glass of red wine or whiskey, avoid too a sugar and caffeine combination.
If your body is feeling the pressure, it will react accordingly. The last thing you want to do is put your heart under unnecessary stress. Take deep breaths during the day and take time out of your schedule to relax. Whether it means taking the dog for a walk or practicing meditation.
Meat free days
Limiting your intake of high-fat dairy products and meat will help you to reduce the amount of saturated fats that enter your body. Following a meal plan that is low in saturated fats is very important when it comes to preventing cardiac problems. Try to have at least two days in the week where you eat ‘vegetarian’ meals and limit your meats to poultry and fish.
Check your cholesterol
A lot of individuals might not even be aware of the fact that they have high cholesterol. If you are suffering from high blood cholesterol this can lead to serious heart disease. Too much cholesterol within the blood vessels will lead to narrow arteries, which will restrict the right amount of blood flow to the heart. Get your cholesterol checked regularly so that you can make the much needed changes to your diet and lifestyle in advance.
These are just a few changes you as an individual can make to prevent cardiac problems. The key is to take care of your body by eating the right foods and doing regular exercise, this combination might even save your life.
This is a guest post written by Scott Webster. He blogs on health topics mainly, and is currently writing for health.com.au, an Australian health insurance company.