Heart disease is a leading cause of death worldwide. Although you lack the power to change some of the things that increase your risk — such as family history, sex or age — there are some key heart disease prevention steps you can take.
Read them here:
1. Exercise Regularly
Regular exercise can reduce your risk of heart attack. And this should be combined with other lifestyle measures, such as maintaining a healthy weight, to get a better result.
Health experts recommend 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise three times a week at the minimum, and up to five times a week for good result. Doing about 30minutes walk daily five times a week could do the trick.
Physical activity helps you control some risk factors for heart disease such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.
2. Sleep Well
People really find it difficult to sleep well these days, because of the demanding jobs and lifestyles. But you should be aware that sleeping well might reduce the risk of heart disease. An adult needs to sleep up to eight hours every night.
A 10-year-long study at Harvard University followed the sleep habits of over 70,000 women between the ages of 45 and 65 with no previous heart trouble. It revealed that the 5 percent of the women who slept less than five hours per night were nearly 40 percent more likely to suffer from heart disease than women who slept an average of eight hours.
3. Take Aspirin Daily
Daily dose of aspirin 75mg is recommended by many health organizations and health professional bodies to help prevent heart attack.
Typically, you are less likely to have a heart attack if your blood is not clotting. Aspirin is a blood thinning agent which prevents blood clotting, and in low dose prevents heart attack.
4. Lower Your Cholesterol
Lowering your blood cholesterol level reduces the chance of having a heart disease and heart attack.
There are two major kinds of cholesterol:
· low-density lipoprotein (LDL) – is mostly made up of fat plus a small amount of protein; this type of cholesterol can block your arteries so it is often referred to as ‘bad cholesterol’
· high-density lipoprotein (HDL) – is mostly made up of protein plus a small amount of fat; this type of cholesterol can reduce deposits in your arteries so is often referred to as ‘good cholesterol’
The real issue here is to lower the bad cholesterol. You can achieve this by minimizing consumption of foods high in cholesterol, exercise and the use of cholesterol lowering medications, such as the statins.
5. Lower Your Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is often called the “silent killer” because the only way you can discover it is to check it. It may not present with any sign or symptom.
Many people have high blood pressure and they are not aware of it. This poses a higher risk of having heart attacks.
If your blood pressure falls around 120/80, then you are doing fine. Anything between 120-139/80-89 is called pre-hypertension, and above this level is considered high.
You can lower or maintain your blood pressure within limits by:
· eating less fatty foods
· reducing your salt intake
· not smoking if you are a smoker
· exercising and limiting the amount of alcohol you drink
If your blood pressure is high, then see a doctor.
6. Stop Smoking
Smoking is dangerous to your health. You create a lot of free radicals when you smoke. These free radicals are unstable molecules that are harmful to your body. They attack your body cells, including cells in the blood which create things that can cause heart attack.
To quit smoking is one of the most difficult things to do – it’s not easy at all. However, looking at the benefit versus the risks involved should be enough motivation for you to stop.
7. Adopt a Heart-healthy Diet
A heart-healthy diet will help you to lower your blood pressure and cholesterol and limit the amount of bad fat you take in. They will help prevent heart attack.
These may include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and fish. These are packed with antioxidants, fibre and lots of vitamins and minerals including omega-3 from fish oil.