Cardiovascular disease is a non-communicable health disease that causes the most deaths in almost all parts of the world. Practicing a healthy lifestyle can help prevent heart disease. Based on information from the World Health Organization, cardiovascular disease claims 17.7 million lives each year. Of this total death rate, more than half are caused by coronary heart disease and stroke.
Deaths caused by heart disease are expected to continue to increase to reach 23.3 million by 2030. Here are 9 Habits that you must implement starting today to protect heart health. All of these guidelines can still be tried by people who already have heart disease.
1. Pay attention to health indications that might stick out
Not only for people who are at risk of developing heart disease, being aware of every change in the body basically has to be tried by everyone just in case. One easy way to do this is to write down the changes or sensations that pop up every time you feel them. For example, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath when lying down or during activities, swelling of the feet and hands, and other signs. Tell your doctor if you feel these indications.
2. Exercise regularly
Regular exercise can help improve heart and lung health, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, thus maintaining a healthy body weight. Exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, minimum 5 days a week. There is no limit to what types of exercise can and should be tried to prevent heart disease. All exercise is basically good. You can walk, jog, ride a bicycle, swim, do yoga, or even box.
If you’re not used to exercising, check with your doctor first to see if there are any limits on what you can and can’t do. Sports activities are also not limited to just exercising. While you’re at the office, schedule short breaks to get up, move your legs and arms, and do a light warm-up to get your heart pumping. Go for lunch to a place that is a bit far on foot, don’t just eat at your desk.
3. Regularly check health blood pressure
Regularly checking blood pressure every day can avoid heart disease. In general, blood pressure can be said to be normal when it displays numbers below 120/80 mmHg. When your systolic (top number) is between 120-139, or if your diastolic (base number) is between 80-89, this means you have “prehypertension”.
Although this figure cannot be considered as hypertension, it is always above the normal rate. The higher the blood pressure value, the higher your risk of hypertension in the next day. Hypertension itself puts you at risk of having a heart attack and stroke. Use hypertension drugs prescribed by a doctor if blood pressure is greater than it should be. Immediately to the doctor if your blood pressure changes.
4. Limit cholesterol consumption
The perfect way to protect blood pressure is to regulate consumption of saturated fat and cholesterol to stay within normal limits. If your LDL cholesterol level is more than 200 milligrams/dL, you should be on guard. The content of bad LDL cholesterol which is very large can cause heart problems. If you’ve had a heart attack, aim for your LDL to be 70 mg/dL or below. Avoid or limit foods that can increase blood cholesterol, such as fatty meats, sausages and burgers, butter, cream, to cakes, biscuits, chocolate and candy. In essence, limit salt, fat, and sugar. Eat more fibrous foods and fish. Sometimes diet and exercise alone are not enough to lower cholesterol in some people. Doctors can prescribe cholesterol-lowering drugs for this kind of problem.
5. Drink more water
Actively drinking water can help protect heart health. Patients with heart disease, need to ask the doctor if he needs to limit the amount of fluids drunk each day. Need to remember, not just how much to drink. Other fluid sources also need to be considered, such as ice cream, agar, and soup. If you really need to block fluids, weigh yourself every morning. Rapid weight gain can be a sign that fluid is accumulating in the body.
6. Eat more health fruits and vegetables
A high fiber diet can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Fibrous foods also help manage a healthy weight. We can get fiber consumption from vegetables, fruits, wheat, and nuts. Avocados, apples, pears, and bananas are included in the group of fruits that are high in fiber. Meanwhile, broccoli, carrots, and spinach are listed as vegetables with high fiber content. Whole wheat, kidney beans, soybeans, and brown rice also contain fiber-rich foodstuffs. Low-fat or fat-free milk is also good for health. You can still eat meat and seafood, but choose lean meats as your source of animal protein.
7. Learn to manage stress
Stress is a normal thing to do. The problem is not what causes stress, but how we respond to it. When we are under pressure, the body produces adrenaline which will make the heart work harder. Blood pressure can increase as a result. Chronic stress can lead to a heart attack if not managed properly. To avoid heart disease that is triggered by stress, you must be smart about managing your emotions. If you feel the pressure is too much, confide in someone, either the closest person or a reliable counselor. You can also try meditation, yoga, or deep breathing methods.
8. Quit smoking If you are a smoker, stop smoking
Smoking can increase blood pressure and irritate blood vessels. Therefore, stopping smoking and/or avoiding exposure to cigarette smoke can help prevent heart disease.
9. Take medication regularly (for those who already have heart disease)
Sometimes, lifestyle changes alone are not enough to prevent heart disease. You may be required to take blood pressure or cholesterol-lowering drugs to reduce the risk of heart attack.