Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: A sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy eating habits are the top risk factors for heart diseases. Here are five strategies that you can adopt to protect your heart.
Eat healthy and maintain BMI: Eat a diet adequate in vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Minimise the amount of oil, unsaturated fat and cut on intake of red meat. Maintain a BMI between 20 to 25 which is considered to be the optimal weight. Being obese increases the risk of various heart diseases, high blood pressure and diabetes.
Be physically active: Even if you cannot follow all of them together, try implementing one of the practices to enhance your heart's health. If you are unable to take time to exercise regularly, try to be active throughout the day. A 30 minute aerobic exercise improves your heart rate. Take the stairs instead of a lift, mop the floor or try walking back home from work, if you live nearby. Yoga and meditation are also great for your heart as they help ease stress which automatically improves your heart's functioning.
Get a good sleep: Lack of sleep worsens blood pressure and cholesterol. Sleep deficiency also leads to increased stress levels, which also raises the level of inflammation in your body, further increasing risk of heart-related problems. A sleep of 7 to 9 hours each night will help your heart stay healthy.
Quit smoking and limit alcohol intake: This needs no explanation, as everyone who consumes alcohol or smokes knows what these products can do to their heart. Cutting on cigarettes or alcohol is rather tough, but killing oneself is not a smart choice either. Try getting out of the addiction slowly but surely.
Manage stress and be happy: If you let stress get on to your head for long you will gradually decrease the number of years in your life. Talk to friends, socialize, slow down a bit and take a break. Enjoying your life to the fullest is the best way to keep your heart healthy and agile. Laughing for just 15 minutes daily can boost blood flow by 22% and prevent arteries from hardening. Being happy is the ultimate mantra to a healthy heart.
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