Manage and Prevent Heart Diseases with a Healthy Lifestyle: Healthy Habits for a Happy Heart
Heart disease is still one of the leading causes of death across the globe. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 17.9 million people die every year due to cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), including heart attacks, strokes, and other conditions that affect the heart and the blood vessels. And that statistic is made all the more upsetting by the fact that heart diseases are largely preventable by adopting a healthy lifestyle.
By 2030, India will account for over 60% of the world’s heart disease burden. In fact, in our country, the age of onset for heart disease is younger than in other countries, with the majority of cases occurring in people younger than 60. But despite these statistics, only 30% of Indians with heart disease receive proper treatment. To combat this burden on our country, we urgently need to put preventive measures in place and improve access to treatment.
Managing and Preventing Heart Disease Through Healthy Lifestyle
So today, we will discuss the strategies for managing and preventing heart diseases through a healthy lifestyle.
1. Understanding Heart Disease
The term “heart disease” refers to a range of conditions that affect the heart and the blood vessels. Some of the common types of heart diseases include coronary artery disease, heart attack, heart failure, arrhythmia, and valve disease. These conditions can result from several factors, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, obesity, lack of physical activity, and an unhealthy diet.
2. Adopting a Healthy Diet
Speaking of an unhealthy diet, it’s important to note that approximately 28% of all deaths in India are caused by cardiovascular disease. A healthy diet, then, is absolutely essential for preventing heart disease. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats can lower your risk of heart disease. You also need to limit your intake of saturated and trans fats, added sugars, and salt. Foods that are high in saturated and trans fats can increase cholesterol levels, which can then lead to heart diseases. Additionally, too much salt in the diet can raise your blood pressure, which can further increase your risk of heart disease.
3. Regular Exercise
Like diet, the role of regular exercise in preventing heart disease is just as important. Physical activity can improve your blood circulation, lower your blood pressure, reduce your cholesterol levels, and help you maintain a healthy weight. Try to get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise per week. You could try moderate-intensity aerobic exercises like brisk walking, cycling, swimming, and dancing, or vigorous-intensity aerobic exercises include running, hiking, and playing sports.
4. Maintaining a Healthy Weight
Obesity is a significant risk factor for heart disease as it can increase the risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes, all of which can lead to heart diseases. Therefore, maintaining a healthy weight is crucial for preventing heart disease. And this can be done by adopting a healthy diet and engaging in regular exercise.
5. Avoiding Smoking and Limiting Alcohol Intake
Smoking has always been linked with heart disease. It can damage your blood vessels, increase your blood pressure, and reduce the amount of oxygen in the blood, all of which can lead to heart disease. So if you are worried about your heart, you will have to quit smoking and limit your alcohol intake as well. This is because drinking too much alcohol can increase your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, possibly leading to heart disease.
6. Reducing Stress
Stress is harmful in itself, but it is also a significant risk factor for heart disease. Chronic stress can lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and other conditions that can increase your risk of developing heart disease. To avoid that, you should adopt stress-reducing strategies, such as yoga, meditation, deep breathing, and spending time with your loved ones.
7. Regular Health Checkups
Regular health checkups help you detect and manage heart disease in time. Regular checkups can also help identify the risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. Additionally, regular checkups can help monitor the progress of existing heart conditions and ensure that the treatment plan is effective.
Heart disease is largely preventable by adopting a healthy lifestyle. A healthy diet, regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding smoking and limiting alcohol intake, reducing stress, and regular health checkups can significantly lower the risk of heart disease. Therefore, it is essential to make these strategies a part of daily life to prevent and manage heart disease. By taking these steps, individuals can lead a healthy life and reduce the risk of such heart diseases.