Heart disease is one of the biggest killers and the leading cause of death in Malaysia. While some factors like genetics may be more prone to heart disease, the best way to avoid cardiac issues is to take good care of our heart health and it’s mostly preventable by changing our lifestyle and managing risk factors.
If we want to keep our heart in great shape, here are 10 things we can practice:
1. Quit Smoking
Many people are still not aware by now that smoking is linked to all kinds of serious health issues. Smoking is really bad for the heart and it is one of the main causes of cardiovascular disease. It not only damages the lining of our arteries but reduces the amount of oxygen in our blood and also raises our blood pressure. At the same time it puts us at a higher risk for having a heart attack and stroke. Thus, quitting smoking is the absolute best thing we can do to reduce our risk of a heart attack and to look after our heart.
2. Achieve and maintain a healthy weight
Being overweight or obese can lead to many serious health conditions and can increase the risk of heart and circulatory diseases, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.
It is really important to manage our weight in order to reduce the risk of heart disease. The best way is to stick to a healthy and balanced diet, eating less sugar and saturated fat, eating plenty of fruit and vegetables and combine this with regular physical activity. All of this can help us to lose excess weight.
3. Minimize Stress Or Keep It Under Control
Stress can lead to things like being inactive, more likely to smoke, drink more than a moderate amount of alcohol and overeating, which can cause high blood pressure and high cholesterol. All of them are linked with heart problems.
4. Get Active Most Days Of The Week
Getting active doesn’t mean we need to sign up at the local gym or get involved in sports. Getting active is about us being physically active instead of inactive or sedentary. Studies show that people who are active are less likely to have a heart attack than those who are not. Just by being active we can reduce the risk of developing some heart and circulatory diseases.
5. Manage cholesterol
High cholesterol can increase risk of heart and circulatory diseases such as heart attack and stroke. .Anyone can get high cholesterol and it can be caused by many factors. As long as we take care of the things we can control, we will help lower our risk.
6. Manage blood pressure
High blood pressure can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. High blood pressure rarely has noticeable symptoms which is why it is so important to get our blood pressure checked regularly.
7. Aim for the right amount of sleep
Experts recommend that most adults should get between seven and nine hours of sleep a night. Poor sleeping patterns or not getting enough sleep has been linked to high blood pressure and can make it difficult to lose weight. It can also make us less likely to want to exercise which is not great for our heart,
Sleep is also a good time for the heart to recharge because when we sleep, our heart rate goes down, our hormones settle down, and we are not under a lot of stress and it is good for the heart.
8. See your doctor regularly
Annual physical health screenings are there for a reason. Knowing your blood pressure is very crucial as there are no specific symptoms of high blood pressure, but having uncontrolled blood pressure can lead to heart disease.
9. Eat a healthy diet
Eating a healthy balanced diet will naturally help to look after our heart. Eating less salt, less sugar, more fish, more fruits and vegetables are all going to help us on our way to a healthier heart.
10. Cut back on alcohol
Alcohol can affect the heart by causing damage to the heart muscle, high blood pressure and abnormal heart rhythms. To keep our heart healthy, we need to keep alcohol intake to a low level.
Follow these 10 tips and it will do our heart a favor. We will have a better life and be able to stay active with a heart healthy lifestyle