“One ought to hold on to one’s heart; for if one lets it go, one soon loses control of the head too.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche
Quite literally too! However hard it might be you have got to hold onto your heart. Nobody else holds the key to your heart. Your heart deserves pampering and the responsibility of pampering it falls solely on you. Remember that without your heart you are nothing. You heart never reposes; it beats for you throughout your life. So, here’s to your heart that gives you company till your last breath.
You should know that its work is nothing short of difficult and tiring. It continuously detoxifies your blood; taking in deoxygenated blood, oxygenates it and pumps it to the rest of your body. And your body is wholly dependent on this function of your heart to stay alive. So to keep hearing the ”lubb-dubb” sound make the following a part of your daily routine:-
10. Sweat it out
Exercising your body is equivalent to exercising your heart. To keep your heart on the right track, you need to get that body moving. Try running or going for jogs. If you can’t run at first give other options a shot like aerobics, zumba, swimming, yoga and skipping. Remember that you must take out at least 30 minutes of your day to exercise. To ask for thirty minutes is nothing when compared to the healthy lifetime it will offer you in return. Besides exercising will relieve you of stress and make you a happier person.
9. Get rid of that extra weight
Your unwieldy body is a burden to both your clothes and your heart. You needn’t resemble a TV model but you could at least maintain your BMI. Anything outside the limit could be fatal to your heart. Also being in good shape will make you more confident and help you take care of more important matters.
So stop eating fat in excess especially food items containing trans fat. Eating foods rich in trans fats increases the amount of harmful LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream and reduces the amount of beneficial HDL cholesterol. Trans fats create inflammation, which is linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other chronic conditions. Exercise followed by a healthy diet is necessary to get rid of that extra fat hanging over your body. It’s not only ugly it is dangerous.
8. Get hooked onto High-fiber foods
There’s a huge variety of high-fibre foods available in the market. Apples, carrots, legumes, whole grains, oats, chickpeas, lentils and spinach are easily available and can be consumed on a daily basis. You can also pop in some flax seeds in all your meals. These are fibre-rich foods and can help protect your heart besides keeping your digestive system healthy. Soluble fibre reduces bad cholesterol by removing them prior to being absorbed.
7. Lower your salt intake
Sodium is a mineral found in many foods. Eating too much salt causes the body to retain too much water, exacerbating the fluid build-up associated with heart failure. Decrease the amount of salt you add to your food while cooking or afterwards while eating. A lower salt intake will help you maintain a healthy blood pressure. Also watch out for ready-made or packaged food for high salt content. Salt being a preservative is usually found in copious quantities in packaged food.
6. Eat Omega-3 rich products
There is ample evidence that omega-3 fatty acids can lower blood pressure and triglyceride levels. Triglycerides are a type of fat that when in excess leads to heart diseases. There’s also good evidence that diets high in omega-3 fatty acids help with rheumatoid arthritis as well as osteoarthritis. It is known that omega-3 fatty acids reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and death from heart disease.
Fish such as mackerel, sardines, fresh tuna and salmon are a source of omega-3 fats, which can help protect against heart disease. Omega-3 is also found in walnuts, flax seeds, chia seeds, anchovies and egg yolks. To maintain a healthy lifestyle, you could even speak to a doctor and ask him or her to prescribe you cod liver oil supplements.
5. Cut down on your Cholesterol
Tempting as it may be, you have to cut down on high-cholesterol food for the sake of your heart. Citing WebMd, “When there is too much cholesterol in your blood, it builds up in the walls of your arteries, causing a process called atherosclerosis, a form of heart disease. The arteries become narrowed and blood flow to the heart muscle is slowed down or blocked.” Therefore, decreasing your cholesterol intake directly benefits your heart.
Cholesterol is found in animal products, such as meat, poultry, dairy products and eggs. Lean and low-fat foods can also be high in cholesterol. Do be cholesterol conscious when you pick your food. You should consume no more than 300 mg of cholesterol in a day.
4. Quit Smoking
The thousands of chemicals found in tobacco smoke can damage your heart significantly. Smoking decreases your body’s supply of oxygen and causes blood vessels to constrict. Simply cutting back or switching to low-tar and low-nicotine brands of cigarettes is not enough to significantly reduce your risk of heart disease. Only getting rid of it completely can help you restore your heart to its former healthy shape.
3. Avoid Stress
All of us tend to relegate stress to the background at least when we have a discourse on the topic of health. Stress contributes in raising your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It leads to a decrease in physical activity, and could even make you take up smoking. Keep a constant check on your stress level. Remind yourself that breaks are important not only for working efficiently but also for your heart. Don’t wait for stress to take a toll on your body. Meditate regularly to bring in tranquility. Also resort to your hobbies often so that the effect of any stressful activity is mellowed down.
2. Drink in moderate amounts
Albeit a glass of red wine contains antioxidants that may help reduce the risk of heart disease and alcohol it can cause a slight raise in HDL cholesterol levels. Drinking too much alcohol can therefore increase your blood pressure, your triglycerides and your calorie count. Moderate drinking is amounts to up to one average-sized drink daily for women and two for men. So stick to that!
1. Get timely check ups done
A lot of patients are oblivious to the fact that they have a high blood pressure level. I witnessed this too. A patient complained to my father about stress and on getting a check up done, he found out that he had an abnormally high blood pressure level. A team of researchers noted that this is true for developed nations as well as low-income countries. Their study indicated that over half of people with hypertension were unaware of their condition and, amongst those identified, very few were taking enough treatment to control their blood pressure. So even if you think you’re doing just fine, get regular check ups done before it becomes to late.