Heart disease is a very serious condition; it is estimated that around 224 people die of cardiac complications in the United Kingdom every day. However, there are many things you can do to keep your heart and circulatory system healthy and functioning in top form.
Do Not Smoke
Contrary to popular belief, tobacco does not relax you. In fact it does the exact opposite. For starters, some of the substances contained in your average cigarette can cause narrowing of your arteries and other blood vessels. This condition is known as atherosclerosis and can quickly result in a heart attack.
On top of that, the carbon monoxide generated when you smoke can replace the oxygen in your blood. This leads to your heart having to work harder, causing higher blood pressure.
If you are a smoker, the first step towards a healthy heart is to quit. There is no safe amount of nicotine and the sooner you leave the habit behind the lower your risks of having a myocardial infraction.
Living in the modern world can make us quite sedentary. A good part of the populations spends most of the day in an office, sitting down in front of a computer.
Whilst there is nothing inherently wrong with this, it enhances the importance of getting at least thirty minutes of exercise every day. Regular exercise makes your heart a more efficient machine, and it can help you keep your blood pressure at a healthy level and even lower your cholesterol.
Diet and nutrition are also crucial for your cardiac well-being. If your diet is high in saturated fats, trans fats, sodium, and/or cholesterol, you are putting yourself at risk.
These substances can increase your blood pressure and clog your arteries, which could eventually lead to a heart attack or even a stroke. It is better to cut down on meat pies, sausages, fried foods, chops and other potentially harmful meals. You do not need to eliminate them completely from your diet; just consume them in moderation.
As for foods that can actually help you prevent heart disease, adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet is a great first step.
Whole grains and other foods that are high in fibre and fatty acids can help you regulate your cholesterol and keep your arteries clean. Also, keep in mind that whilst the quality of what you eat is important, the quantity also plays a big role. Smaller portions will ensure you are not consuming more calories than you actually need.
Being overweight forces your heart to work a harder and in the long run this can lead to a heart attack, stroke and other health issues such as diabetes. It is important to maintain a healthy diet, exercise regularly and lose those extra pounds. Your body will thank you, your heart will start working at a healthier pace, and you may even look a little better.
According to the Heart Research Institute in the UK, twenty percent of men and around twelve percent of women suffer from some kind of cardiac affliction. Risks of not taking proper care of your cardiovascular system include heart attacks, strokes, erectile dysfunction and arrhythmia.
The ball is in your court. It is never too early to start taking precautions and building healthier lifestyle habits to help you have a long and prosperous life.