We all know that a healthy heart nurtures a healthy body and in turn, a healthy mind. What you need to keep in mind is that the choices we make everyday with regards to our lifestyle have a direct impact on our health, and by extension, our heart. Even the smallest or least significant activity of yours can affect your heart in unimaginable ways in the long run. And it’s needless to say, kids and adults with a history of heart diseases must take extra care and be wary of the consequences.
So how does one go about keeping healthy - that one organ which has been tirelessly pumping blood since the day you were born? Almost all of us know the drill - eat right, watch out for extra fat and don’t smoke. But following these religiously might seem easier said than done. Even if you manage to do this, is it enough? Cultivating heart-healthy habits - however little or significant - might be the best decision you can make today for a better and healthier tomorrow. Here’s an extensive list of habits and practices for your heart -
- Get out of your comfort zone! If you are an adult or a young adult, it doesn’t matter. You need to make time for your physical fitness and aim to become healthy. Exercise for at least 30 minutes per day to keep those illnesses far out of reach. It could be anything that you find easy to make time for - workout, swim, yoga. From strength training to aerobics, you have a wide range of fitness options to choose from. With virtual workouts and fitness apps, you have no excuse to avoid a workout regime!
- Take a conscious effort to keep a check on what you eat and how much. Reduce bad fat as much as you can! Eating poor food choices over the long term will undoubtedly increase the risk of strokes and heart attacks. Stick to options rich in healthy fat like avocados, cheese, dark chocolate, whole eggs, fatty fish etc.
- Cut down on salt. Aim to reduce the intake of salt and processed food as much as you can. Lower intake of salt means lower risk of blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases.
- Bring down your levels of stress. Nobody is stress free. Everyone has their own problems and troubles and we are all finding a way out. Sooner or later, you would realise the havoc it has created in your body. It could also lead to multiple damages in different parts of your body - primarily your heart. Try to lower stress levels by carving out time for yourself and doing what you love. Pick some activity that you truly enjoy doing and spend some time everyday without fail for it!
- Quit smoking. This might be the hardest of all but the most important one as well. Smoking is known to increase the formation of plaque in blood vessels. This makes it difficult for the blood to move around, causing irreparable damage. Find your best way to come out of the addiction and make a change in your lifestyle. Do what it takes but try to reduce smoking with effect from now. If you don’t smoke, this is already one green tick for you in this checklist !
- Cut down on intake of alcohol. Abnormal heart rhythms and high blood pressure are some of the consequences of excessive consumption of alcohol. This doesn’t mean you have to completely quit drinking. If you keep your alcohol intake at moderate levels, you can do your best to ensure it doesn’t become too much for your heart to handle!
- Go for scheduled check ups. Especially if you are someone who already has a history of heart issues or has a genetic history of heart disease in your family, it’s advisable to get yourself checked by a doctor every year. This will not only warn you about things to anticipate but also help you track your progress and ensure you have professional medical guidance for any lifestyle changes you require.
These are some of the simple steps that start from home, without much effort. Although it might seem overwhelming all at once, think about the results in the long run and the reason why you decided to incorporate them into your lifestyle in the first place. If you’re finding it difficult to follow these, find yourself a partner or a buddy who’d be ready to do it with you. This way, you can both motivate each other and keep your habits on track. Check out our health insurance plans for your family and give them a secure life.