How to keep heart healthy and strong

How to keep heart healthy and strong
How to keep heart healthy and strong - Heart disease can be a cause of death, but that does not mean you have to accept that your destination. Although it has no power to change some risk factors - such as family history, age or gender - there are some key steps to preventing heart disease can take.

You can avoid heart problems in the future by adopting a healthy lifestyle today. Here are six tips to prevent heart disease to start.

1. Do not smoke or use snuff

Smoking or using snuff of any kind is one of the most important risk factors for developing heart disease. The chemicals in snuff can damage your heart and blood vessels, leading to a narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis). Atherosclerosis can eventually lead to a heart attack.

Carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke replaces part of the oxygen in the blood. This increases blood pressure and heart rate by forcing your heart to work harder to provide enough oxygen. Women who smoke and take birth control pills have an increased risk of having a heart attack or stroke than those who do not, either because both smoking and taking birth control pills increase the risk of blood clots.

When it comes to preventing heart disease, no amount of smoking is safe. But the more you smoke, the greater your risk. Tobacco smoke snuff and low-tar and low-nicotine cigarettes are also risky, such as exposure to secondhand smoke. Even so-called "social smoking" - that while smoking in a bar or restaurant with friends - it is dangerous and increases the risk of heart disease.

The good news, however, is that when you stop smoking, your risk of heart disease drops almost to that of a nonsmoker in about five years. And no matter how long or how much you smoked, you'll start to reap the rewards once you leave.

2. Exercise for 30 minutes most days of the week  

To do regular exercise each day can reduce your risk of fatal heart disease. When physical activity is associated with other lifestyle measures, such as maintaining a healthy weight, the payoff is even greater.

Physical activity helps you control your weight and can reduce your chances of developing other conditions that may put a strain on your heart, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.

Try to get at least 30-60 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity most days of the week. However, even shorter benefits for the heart of the amounts of the offer of the year, so if you can not meet these guidelines, they do not give up. You can even get the same health benefits if you break your training time in three sessions of 10 minutes most days of the week.

And remember that activities such as gardening, cleaning, taking the stairs and walking the dog all count toward your total. You do not have to exercise vigorously to make profits, but you can see great benefits by increasing the intensity, duration and frequency of your workouts.

3. Eat a healthy diet for the heart  

A healthy diet can reduce the risk of heart disease. Two examples of healthy eating plans for the heart include the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet and the Mediterranean diet.

A diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains can help protect your heart. Beans, other low-fat sources of protein and certain types of fish can also reduce your risk of heart disease.

Limiting certain fats you eat is also important. Among the types of saturated fats - polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and trans fats - saturated and trans fats are those who seek to limit or avoid. Try to keep saturated fat to no more than 10 percent of your daily calories. And, try to keep trans fats from your diet completely.

The main sources of saturated fat include:

Red meat
*  Dairy products
*  Coconut and palm

Sources of trans fat include:

*  Fried fast foods
*  Bakery products
*  Packaged snacks
*  Margarines
*  Cookies

If nutrition is the term "partially hydrogenated" label means that the product contains trans fat.

Heart healthy diet does not have to do with cutting back, though. Healthy fats from plant sources such as avocados, nuts, olives and olive oil, help your heart by lowering bad cholesterol.

Most people need to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet - with a goal of five to 10 servings a day. Eating lots of fruits and vegetables that can not only help prevent heart disease, but can also help prevent cancer and improve diabetes.

Eating several servings per week of certain fish, such as salmon and mackerel, you can reduce your risk of heart attack.

Follow a healthy diet for the heart is also keeping an eye on the amount of alcohol you drink. If you choose to drink alcohol, it is better for the heart to do it in moderation. For healthy adults, this means that up to one drink per day for women of all ages and men over 65, and up to two drinks a day for men age 65 and minors. In that moderate levels of alcohol may have a protective effect on the heart. More than that becomes a health hazard.

4. Maintain a healthy weight  

Excess weight, especially if you carry excess weight around the waist increases the risk of heart disease. Excess weight can lead to conditions that increase your chances of heart disease - high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.

One way to know if your weight is healthy is to calculate your body mass index (BMI), which considers your height and weight to determine whether you have a healthy or unhealthy percentage of body fat. Total BMI of 25 or more are associated with higher blood fats, increased blood pressure and increased risk of heart disease and stroke.

BMI is a good guide, but imperfect. Muscle weighs more than fat, for example, and women and men who are very muscular and physically fit can have a high BMI without additional health risks. Because of that, waist circumference is also a useful tool for measuring the amount of abdominal fat:

  *  Men were considered overweight if their waist size over 40 inches (101.6 centimeters, or cm).
  *  Women are overweight if their waist size over 35 inches (88.9 cm).
Even a small weight loss can be beneficial. Reducing your weight by only 5-10 percent can help to lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol levels in the blood and reduce the risk of diabetes.

5. Get enough quality sleep

Sleep deprivation can do more than he can yawn all day; it may harm your health. People who do not get enough sleep are at increased risk of obesity, high blood pressure, heart attacks, diabetes and depression.

Most adults need seven to nine hours of sleep each night. If you wake up without your alarm clock and you feel refreshed, you are getting enough sleep. But if you are constantly reaching for the snooze button and there is a struggle to get out of bed, you need more sleep each night.

Make sleep a priority in your life. Set a sleep schedule and stick to it by going to bed and get up at the same time each day. Keep your bedroom dark and quiet, so it is easier to sleep.

If you feel you have been getting enough sleep, but are still tired throughout the day, ask your doctor if you need to be evaluated for sleep apnea. OSA blocks airflow through the trachea and making temporarily stop breathing. The signs and symptoms of sleep apnea include loud snoring; shortness of breath during sleep; wake up several times during the night; waking up with a headache, sore throat or dry mouth; and memory or learning problems.

Treatment of obstructive sleep apnea include weight loss or the use of a continuous positive airway pressure device (CPAP) which keeps the airway open during sleep. CPAP treatment appears to decrease the risk of sleep apnea in heart disease.

6. Get regular health exams

High blood pressure and high cholesterol can damage the heart and blood vessels. But without testing for them, you probably do not know if you have these conditions. Regular screening can tell you what your numbers are and if necessary take action.

  *  Blood pressure. Regular screenings of blood pressure usually begin in childhood. Adults should have their blood pressure at least every two years. You may need more frequent monitoring if their numbers are not ideal or if you have other risk factors for heart disease. The optimal blood pressure below 120/80 mmHg.
   Cholesterol. Adults should have their cholesterol measured at least once every five years after 20 years if they have heart disease risk factors such as obesity or high blood pressure. If you're healthy, you can start having your cholesterol levels projected at 35 years for men and 45 for women. Some children may need their cholesterol levels in the blood tested if they have a strong family history of heart disease.

   *  The detection of diabetes. Since diabetes is a risk factor for developing heart disease, you may consider to be screened for diabetes. Talk to your doctor when you should be tested for fasting glucose for diabetes. Depending on your risk factors such as being overweight or a family history of diabetes, your doctor may recommend early detection of diabetes.  

If your weight is normal and does not have other risk factors for type 2 diabetes, the American Diabetes Association recommends screening begin at age 45 and then re-test every three years.
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