As days are passing by, there is more and more increase in heart problems. People tend to blame everything on coronavirus, which may be true in some cases. However, our own habits are leading to this threatening increase in heart diseases.
When talking about health problems, people rarely think about how much their own lifestyle affects the body. A meta-analysis of 15 studies involving 531,804 people with an average follow-up of 13 years shows that the combination of four factors of a healthy lifestyle reduces the risk of death by 66%. What habits are needed to keep your heart healthy for years to come?
Let’s find out the top healthy habits that can promote heart’ health.
Habits That Promote Good Heart’s Health
1. Regular Physical Activity
First of all, you should get into the habit of exercising regularly. This can be a moderate exercise. For example, start brisk walking at a speed of about 5 km/h, cycling at a speed of less than 16 km/h, or water aerobics for two and a half hours a week. With time, you can increase it to five hours.
Experts recommend an intense aerobic activity from 75 minutes to two and a half hours a week for those who have less free time. You can also combine moderate and vigorous exercises. At the same time, it is more correct to distribute workouts evenly throughout the week.
Do not forget about strengthening the muscles. This can be, for example, lifting weights, push-ups, pull-ups, exercises with an expander, climbing indoors, or tug-of-war. It is worth doing these exercises at least twice a week.
2. Controlling Body Weight And Waist Circumference
By weighing yourself periodically, you can timely identify an important factor of cardiovascular risk. That is an increased body mass index (BMI). The second such factor is an increase in waist circumference.
You can calculate BMI on a calculator. Normal BMI is 20-25, and waist circumference should be less than 94 cm in men and less than 80 cm in women.
3. Limiting Alcohol Intake
To maintain heart-healthy, doctors recommend limiting alcohol consumption. Pain in the chest and dizziness are symptoms of alcohol abuse. So, the maximum daily amount is:
- Little less than two small glasses of wine (each about 100 ml)
- Two bottles of beer (each about 0.33 l)
- Two glasses of vodka (30 ml each) for men half as much for women.
If you cannot limit yourself to this amount, it is better to refrain from drinking alcohol.
4. Live Without Smoking
Smoking is the culprit in 10% of all deaths from cardiovascular causes. On average, this habit shortens life by ten years. The degree of nicotine addiction can be assessed using the Fagerstrom test. Do not hesitate to ask your doctor for help to quit smoking: severe addiction may require medication.
5. Healthy Eating
Do Not Add Salt To Food: The daily salt intake should not exceed 5 g (flat teaspoon), including table salt added during cooking and that already contained in ready-made foods. At first, after giving up salt, food may seem unusual, but soon you can enjoy the true taste of the food.
Eat More Fruits And Vegetables: Eat at least 400 grams or five servings of fruit and at least 400 grams of or fresh vegetables per day. One serving is one large fruit (such as an apple or orange) or two smaller ones (such as a plum or kiwi). Such a good habit will allow you to get the required amount of dietary fiber – at least 30 g per day. Dietary fiber is available in large quantities in:
- Fruits (pears, apples, oranges, peaches)
- Berries (raspberries, strawberries, blueberries)
- Vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, green beans)
- Legumes (peas, lentils, beans).
Look For Skinless Fish And Poultry: Eat lean red meats without layers of fat. Add fish to the menu once or twice a week.
And on one of the days, you can also eat fatty fish, e.g., mackerel, sardines, salmon, mackerel, herring, halibut.
Limit Saturated Fatty Acids (such as vegetable oil): They should make up no more than 10% of the diet’s total calories. Doctors do not recommend consuming more than one teaspoon of olive oil per day.
Eating Nuts: A habit of consuming 30 grams of unsalted nuts a day is also beneficial (except for peanuts, which are actually legumes).
6. Regular Check-Ups
It is especially important to see a doctor for those who have a family history of early onset of cardiovascular disease. Other risk factors that can lead to heart problems are smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus, or high levels of “bad” cholesterol. If you are a smoker and one of your parents has a heart problem, you are at high risk.
A cardiovascular examination should be carried out every five years. Men under 40 and women under 50 without cardiovascular risk factors may not think about regular check-ups.
7. Stay Happy
People who take stress about everything that is happening in their life are more prone to heart attacks. A good solution to avoid stress is to spend time with friends and family. Laugh more, hang out with friends, or go shopping.
The more you feel happier, the healthier the heart will be. Some people after a break-up with a loved one do into depression. This can have a direct impact on the heart’s health. Do not take everything to your heart and enjoy your life.
You can also include such activities in your life that give you happiness. This may include joining a singing class or even going bowling. Just find your stress releaser and stay happy.
A poor or sedentary lifestyle is the root cause of several heart diseases. In order to keep yourself and your heart healthy, adopt the habits mentioned above in your life. Within days, you will start noticing a positive change in your life.