With so much happening in our daily lives, taking care of our health and heart probably gets pushed to the back burner. And while we’re all guilty of it, this doesn’t make it okay! From the food that we consume to the time we spend (or not) on physical exercise, the number of hours we sleep, to the stress we endure on a daily basis; all these factors put together, contribute to our heart’s health.
The right time to act and take mindful steps is NOW. This World Heart Day, we urge you to start making conscious changes in your lifestyle while you are young so that you can stay on top of your health, even when you’re older. Here are some easy hacks to get started:
After a long day, who wouldn’t love a plate of samosas, pizza, or a scrumptious burger? They are our guilty pleasures, however, did you know that these foods are high in sodium and trans-fats? Not to be a buzzkill, but the way to a healthy heart is to consider swapping out fast food with a wholesome eating plan.
Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and lean meats are foods that support a healthy heart. Time to stock up on oats, limit saturated fats, consume tasty salads, grab a handful of nuts, read food labels diligently, and chug on the water!
At some point or another, we all have made elaborate plans to incorporate workouts into our daily routines. But then, as always, laziness and procrastination take over. Research suggests that daily exercise makes it easier for our hearts to pump blood, which in turn, significantly reduces the chances of heart diseases.
Buckle up and create a routine to exercise daily. It doesn’t need to be long or strenuous; even 30 minutes of daily workout can help strengthen your heart. If this doesn’t float your boat, go for a walk or dance it out, or bicycle your way to fitness.
Smoking tops the list as a primary risk factor for heart disease. It not only strains your blood vessels but also reduces the flow of oxygen, which is vital for your body to function properly.
Apart from being a potential cause of stroke and heart attack, smoking can also increase the risk of lung cancer and diabetes, affect semen quality, and increase the chances of miscarriage. There is no better way to work towards a healthier life and lifestyle than by saying NO to smoking.
As per research, adults who sleep less than seven hours each night are more likely to be at risk of heart problems, heart attack, and stroke. A good night’s sleep not only energises the body but also provides enough rest to reset for the next day. By sleeping seven to nine hours every night, you can essentially decrease the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure.
Did you know? Even oversleeping can cause heart-related issues! Hence, sticking to a regular sleep schedule is imperative. More so on the weekends, when we tend to indulge in a late snooze.
A modern, urban lifestyle is not – and to be very honest, it cannot be – devoid of stress. It’s a natural output of the fast-paced life we lead. But just because it exists, doesn’t mean we cannot look into ways to combat stress or figure out ways to, at least, navigate those days that are riddled with too much worry or feelings of anxiousness especially since multiple studies have indicated a connection between increased stress and heart disorders.
How do you do it though? Start with acknowledging what you are dealing with, and then seek professional help to learn coping strategies to navigate difficult emotions. On a day-to-day basis, practice mindfulness and meditation to combat stress, boost your immune system and protect your precious heart.
If you are in your late 20s or early 30s, there is no better time than now to get serious and start taking good care of your heart and health. This means scheduling regular checkups and routine screenings to ensure early detection. In case you are experiencing symptoms like chest pain, increased heartbeat, dizziness, fatigue, or fluttering in the chest, do not self-medicate and see a doctor right away.
Our heart is truly the powerhouse of our whole body, so it’s important to give it all the attention and care it needs.
Do you take measures to keep your heart healthy and young? Tell us in the comments below. This World Heart Day, share your pro tips with us.
I'm Naqshib Nisar aka the Ministry of Happiness. A digital journalist who can write anything under the sun. When I'm not writing, I'm definitely discovering hidden gems of a city or exploring the food culture. Being a language enthusiast, I grasp words from songs I don't really understand. I'm mostly in the procaffeinating mode because coffee comes first. Hit me up if you ever want to find the best cappuccino and croissants in Bangalore.
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