Road to a sound and healthy heart | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 24, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:06 AM, July 24, 2018

Road to a sound and healthy heart

Does the sight of a cheesy, gooey burger or the mere mention of pizza make you drool in anticipation? And, have you ever wondered how your poor heart, pumping blood to all parts of your body, reacts to these cravings?

Heart attacks, blocks and other complications are reaching unprecedented levels. It has been found in recent studies that every year about 17.7 million people die of heart attacks, accounting for 31% of all global deaths. As lives get busier and more competitive, people often can't eat healthy and have to rely on processed food, leading to heart problems. In today's digital era, as more people get hooked to digital innovations, physical activities are becoming scarcer. As a result, heart diseases are on the rise.

Well, maintaining a healthy heart is not anything monumental. It does not require extreme dedication. All you need to do is follow some simple tips that can be included in your daily lives and keeping your heart healthy easily coincides with your everyday life.

Eat healthy- cut down on your intake of saturated fats. These increase the LDL (bad cholesterol) levels in your body, leading to blocked arteries. Eat more fruits and vegetables.

Eat more fish- omega 3 in fish help to ward off heart diseases.

Exercise regularly- our busy schedules don't leave much time for exercise, but you don't have to exercise for HOURS! When at office, use the stairs instead of the lift, to help burn calories. After getting home, walk for 30 minutes, and that is enough. Working parents with small children can simply play a small game of hide and seek or 'tag-it' with their kids and this can serve as good exercise. One can also opt for morning walks to maintain a healthy heart.

Kick your housework up a notch- vacuuming or mopping the floors may not be as fun as a Body Slam or Zumba classes. But these activities and other household chores do get you moving. They can give your heart a little workout. Put your favourite music on and add some pep to your step while you complete your weekly chores.

Eat dark chocolate- next time you have your sweet craving, eat dark chocolate. It contains heart-healthy flavonoids that help reduce inflammation and lower the risk of heart disease.

Eat more nuts- almonds, walnuts, pecans, and other tree nuts deliver a powerful punch of heart-healthy fats, protein, and fibre. Including them in your diet can help lower your risk of cardiovascular disease

Quit smoking- smoking is one of the major causes of heart diseases. The nicotine present in cigarettes blocks arteries, leading to heart attacks.

Cut down on stress- stress and anxiety have been found to cause heart diseases.  Do yoga or meditation to reduce stress.

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