12 Tips on How to Improve Your Heart Health
Your heart is the engine of your body and you need to care for it if you wish to enjoy a long and healthy life. Adopting certain lifestyle changes give you a better chance at this. Here are some inexpensive ways to maintain good cardiovascular health.
- Lose weight: Being overweight significantly increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. It also serves as a gateway for other lifestyle disorders such as diabetes.
- Maintain an active lifestyle: Staying active is the key to longevity. Do as many chores as you can and chalk out an exercise routine. Whether it is brisk walking, taking the stairs, or weight training, adopt a program that you enjoy and stick with it.
- Quit smoking: That label on the box is not just for show. Smoking really kills! If you are a smoker, the best gift you can give yourself is to kick the butt. Smoking exponentially aggravates coronary issues and exposes you to carcinogens.
- Limit alcohol consumption: Moderate consumption of alcohol may help improve good cholesterol, but regular consumption adds inches to the waist and impairs the body’s ability to function properly.
- Consume more fibre: Consuming rich sources of soluble fibre such as whole grains, oats, barley, and bran help lower the level of bad cholesterol and are good for your heart.
- Eliminate saturated fats: Consuming food products high in saturated fats raises blood cholesterol levels and increases the risk of heart disease. So cut down on fried and processed foods. Opt for low-fat dairy products and lean meat.
- Eat more fruits and veggies: Our body needs quite a few micronutrients in the form of vitamins and minerals, and these are best sourced from fruits and vegetables. As a rule of the thumb, try to consume at least five different fruits and vegetables every day.
- Limit salt and sugar consumption: Excessive consumption of either of these white powders is not good for health. Most processed and pre-packaged products are either too sweet or too savoury. This could lead to health complications in the long run. It’s best to gradually reduce your salt and sugar consumption – you won’t even feel the deprivation after a month.
- Keep an eye on your shopping: It is mandatory for all packaged products to list their nutritional value. Understand the caloric values along with the type of nutrition the food provides – either from proteins, carbohydrates, or fats. Also, check the other additives and how they impact your health.
- Pursue a hobby: Unwinding after a stressful work day is important. Apply your time constructively rather than planting yourself in front of the TV. Learn to play the guitar, dance the salsa, or just tend to your garden. Pursuing a hobby not only gives you a new life skill, it improves brain function, relieves stress, and releases endorphins.
- Get regular health checkups: It is important to keep a check on your vitals, based on your age, sex, weight and family history. Get a complete assessment of your blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels every six months. Your dietary and lifestyle patterns have to match up to keep your vitals in shape.
- Stay happy: Having a positive outlook towards life is known to keep the heart in good health. Try to cut down on factors that trigger anxiety, stress, and anger.
With small, simple, progressive changes, you can improve your heart health and add years to your life. Our body is a complex machine and tries its best to keep us healthy, but for those instances when it needs help, you need a partner such as Health Insurance through HDFC Bank. This covers a host of critical illnesses, and takes care of medical and hospitalisation expenses as well.
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