If you come under the category of a professional or a student then it can be rather difficult trying to maintain a Heart-Healthy lifestyle. However, it’s very important that you do, as it reduces your risk of suffering from a heart attack or a sudden cardiac arrest by a very considerable amount. Having a healthy lifestyle from a young age has a positive impact on your future as it means your chances of getting heart disease or cardiovascular disease are minimal. Changing your unhealthy lifestyle from a young age, even within the age range of 20-59, will have a positive impact on your future health. So get up and go for that morning jog!
It’s rather common to feel tired or exhausted after a week, or even a day of work or University, so changing minor aspects in your lifestyle can make a lasting difference.
- Give up Smoking
One of the best actions you can take for maintaining a heart-healthy lifestyle is to quit smoking, or not to begin in the first place.
Smoking is a terrible habit to possess, as it’s one of the main causes of coronary heart disease. Even a year of giving up smoking can decrease your risk of a heart attack by an extensive amount.
From giving up smoking, within the first 20 minutes, your blood pressure and pulse rate will return to normal. Within the 2 week-3 months period the risk of you experiencing a heart attack begins to drop. And then, within a year, excess risk of coronary heart disease, heart attack and stroke drops to less than half of a smoker. It can take up to 20 years (for the average person) to eliminate all of the risk factors which come alongside with smoking, so it’s crucial that you suppress your cravings as soon as possible so that your chances of experiencing a heart related disease are decreased.
- Become Active
By implementing exercise and fitness into your daily routine you can not only reduce your risk of developing heart disease but also experience several benefits, such as increased energy levels, weight loss and increased stamina.
It can also be a measure used to diminish stress and improve your mood.
The heart is the last organ to die, which is why medicine has expended a power of effort to aid it in living longer. Much to many people’s surprise, the best action to take for this to happen is to work it harder, thus meaning…exercise!
The heart is happiest if you test its limits in a controlled fashion on a rather regular basis. Exercise lowers blood pressure, which is excellent for your heart. It also slows the accumulation of calcium in arterial walls, this is a risk factor for a heart attack, so by exercising you can actively diminish the likelihood of this happening. Exercise also lowers the resting heart rate, this benefits the heart in the long run.
Exercise’s ability to reduce a person’s chances of dying from cardiovascular disease extends well beyond the weekly 150 minutes of moderate exercise (or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise) currently recommended for adults.
- Control your weight
If you are overweight then you’re decreasing your heart-health and also your general health. Being overweight is very dangerous and should be treated immediately.
There are several ways to lose weight. Watching what you eat is a crucial element to losing weight. Eating foods high in fibre will not only keep you fuller for longer, meaning you’ll not need to eat such high quantities of food but it is also a fabulous mineral for your heart health.
Consuming high volumes of fruit and vegetables whilst exercising regularly will aid weight loss. A mistake several people tend to make is using their BMI as a measurement of whether they’re over or under weight.
Your BMI doesn’t take every relevant aspect of your health into consideration, such as the factor that muscle weighs more than fat, hence those who tend to use weights whilst exercising will have a higher BMI. This doesn’t necessarily mean they’re overweight.
It also doesn’t take ones diet into examination, as a person could have a very unhealthy diet yet a fast metabolism, meaning they’re not over weight yet someone who may have a slower metabolism and a very healthy diet may be categorized as over weight.
- Increase your intake of fibrous foods
Fibre is a fabulous addition to your diet! It holds several benefits:
-Blood sugar control; Soluble fibre helps to slow your body’s breakdown of carbohydrates and the absorption of sugar. An example of soluble fibre is oats, you can implement this into your diet by enjoying oat meal/porridge in the morning. You can make this a sweet or savoury breakfast. Not only is it a tasty and fulfilling breakfast but it is also full of nutrients!
–Heart Health: Research shows that those who eat a high fibrous diet have a 40% lower risk of heart disease.
–Stroke: Researchers have also found that for every 7g’s more fibre you consume on a daily basis, your stroke risk is decreased by 7%.
–Weight loss and management: Fibre supplements have been shown to enhance weight loss among obese people. The reasoning in this is because fibre increases feelings of fullness.
–Skin health: Fibre helps remove yeast and fungus out of your body, preventing them from being excreted through your skin where they could trigger acne or rashes.
–Gallstones & Kidney stones: A high fibre diet may reduce the risk of gallstones and kidney stones, likely because of its ability to help regulate blood sugar.
- Cut down on saturated fats
Saturated fats are not good for you in many ways, especially for your heart health.
This is because they raise the level of cholesterol in your blood, which increases your risk of heart disease. Whenever you have the option, you should always choose leaner cuts of meats or leaner meats in general such as turkey and chicken. Perhaps try to avoid Pork.
When it comes to dairy products, always opt for the lower fat products, such as 1% fat milk instead of full fat milk. Changes like these will have sufficient impacts on your heart health and weight. Saturated fats are difficult to burn off, hence they’re not a good option for those who are watching their weight.
- Always achieve your 5 A DAY
You should be eating at least five portions of different fruits and vegetables per day. They are an absolutely amazing source of fibre, vitamins and minerals. They’re also a very tasty option in which you can do loads with to vary your diet.
If you can then you should try to achieve eight portions of fruits and vegetables per day as that’s an amount which will make you even more heart-healthy, it’s the recommended amount but five is the minimal amount. A delicious way to incorporate fruit into your diet is by adding bananas and strawberries to low fat yoghurt and granola for your breakfast. This is a very tasty yet, healthy and filling breakfast!
If you’re also a big fan of eggs then you should add mushrooms and tomatoes to scrambled eggs as that will keep you fuller for longer, whilst making sure you get an ample intake of vegetables.
- Limit your alcohol intake
A lot of people seem to think that because alcohol is a drink it doesn’t have a lot of calories, however, those people are mistaken. It actually embodies a large quantity of calories, for example, wine contains the same number of calories as a piece of chocolate. A pint of lager has roughly the same number of calories as a packet of crisps.
Also, those who tend to drink alcohol in excess often eat unhealthy foods on the night or the next morning in order to ‘cure their hangover’, this adds hundreds of unnecessary and additional calories to your daily intake. Alcohol is not only bad for your weight but also for your heart health. Of course this doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself from enjoying it all the time but just remember, everything in moderation…A glass of wine or two on a Friday night is more than acceptable!
- Always check the food and nutritional label
It’s quite common that processed foods contain large amounts of salt, calories, sugar and fats. It’s important to check the label before making any purchases.
Many people are not actually aware of what they eat, so it’s crucial to take note of the ingredients to make sure you’re not going outwith your guideline daily nutritional allowance. For those of you with high blood pressure, you should avoid processed foods as they can often contain high quantities of salt, thus meaning, if you’re sticking to your guideline daily amount then you may not be able to add an additional amount of salt to your foods for that day.
- Enough sleep is important
We all know there’s not enough hours in the day to get everything done, however it’s crucial that you get enough sleep so that you’re able to fully function the next day.
Research has proven that we require a minimum of 6 hours of sleep per night, as if this amount of sleep is not met then you will not function to your full potential, although 8 hours is the ideal amount.
Sleep disorders and chronic sleep loss can put you at risk for heart disease, heart attack, heart failure, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, strokes and diabetes. Lack of sleep also isn’t good for your long-term memory.
There are several drawbacks of not getting enough sleep so plan your evening out and make sure you’re in bed for a reasonable time if you’re aware that you’ll be waking up early the next day. It really does pay to be organized!
If you follow these tips and guidelines then you should feel a difference in yourself and your Heart-Health!
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