Tips on Keeping your Heart Healthy

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May 30, 2013 at 02:20PM | by Arya Ziai the Barbarian http://flic.kr/p/exZBS6 via Creative Commons

Each year, heart diseases claim about 600,000 lives. As the leading cause of deaths, heart problems are sometimes difficult to detect. Most patients don’t have the idea that they are suffering from one until an attack comes in. While this fact sounds cruel, there are ways we can prevent having it. Here are some of the tips that you can do to keep your heart healthy.

1.       Exercise

The ideal exercise is at least 150 minutes a week. That means in order to have a healthy heart, aerobics or cardio exercise for 30 minutes in most days of the week should be done regularly. This does not mean doing strenuous activities. Perhaps walking the dog, gardening or climbing stairs would do.

2.       Quit smoking

Smoking is a major contributor to heart attack risks. This is because of the presence of chemicals in tobacco which can damage the heart and blood vessels, making the arteries narrow. This is not only dangerous to the smoker. Secondhand smoke can harm other people even worse. The good side of this is when you stop smoking, the risk dramatically drops within just a year.

3.       Eat a balanced diet

Have five portions of fruit and vegetables every day. You may also add them to your oatmeal or pasta sauces. Foods with Omega-3 fatty acids also lower the risks of heart attack. It is present in flaxseed oil, walnut oil, soybean oil and canola oil. They are also found in some supplements.

4.       Manage weight

An unhealthy percentage of body fat can lead to conditions that raise the risks for hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes. To check if you are maintaining a healthy weight, monitor your body mass index or BMI. Exercise and balanced diet make this goal possible.

5.       Have regular screenings

As a silent killer, heart disease usually does not give clear symptoms. Thus, it is important to visit your physician regularly and have your heart and blood screened for possible risks. Three major factors should always be considered in screenings: blood pressure, cholesterol levels and diabetes.

 

Some other tips include drinking less since alcohol consumption increases one’s body fats. Also, always check the labels on food packets in the grocery for healthier choices.

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