According to the American Heart Association, heart disease remains the number 1 cause of global death with 17.3 million deaths each year. It is expected that this number will rise to more than 23.6 million by 2030.
The Heart Foundation suggests that cardiovascular diseases claim more lives than all forms of cancer combined and coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease, killing around 380,000 people each year.
Many of us are well aware of these facts about heart disease, but we still do so little for the health of our thistles, who continue to work reluctantly for us, despite having been subjected to our negligence. Taking care of our hearts requires attention to many aspects of our lives. By adopting the following healthy cardiac habits, we can add years to life between the financial burdens.
Healthy habits of the heart:
Exercise regularly – Our heart is a muscle that must be worked regularly to stay strong and healthy. Although any amount of exercise is better than no exercise, we must aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic physical activity (for example, brisk walking) every week or 1 hour and 15 minutes (75 minutes) of aerobic physical activity of vital intensity (for example, jogging, running) or a combination of both each week.
Furthermore, we need muscle strengthening activities that act on all the main muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, shoulders and arms) on 2 or more days a week.
Eat healthy – We must choose foods that are low in saturated fats, trans fats and sodium. Furthermore, we must eat lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains rich in fiber, fish (preferably fatty fish at least twice a week), nuts, legumes and seeds and try to eat some meatless meals. Furthermore, sugary drinks and red meat should be limited. If you choose to eat meat, you should select the leanest cuts available.
Stop smoking – Smoking is a major cause of the cardiovascular disease (CVD) and causes one in three CVD deaths. The risk of CVD increases with the number of cigarettes smoked per day and the number of years they were smoked. Smoking cigarettes with lower levels of tar or nicotine does not reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Avoid second-hand smoke – People are more likely to develop heart disease if exposed to secondhand smoke at home or at work. This is because the chemicals emitted by cigarette smoke promote the development of plaque accumulation in treaties.
Practicing dental hygiene – It has been found that bacteria in the mouth, involved in the development of gum disease, can move into the bloodstream and cause a rise in C-reactive protein, a marker for inflammation in blood vessels.
Have a regular and adequate sleep every day – A review of the 2011 European Heart Journal of 15 medical studies involving around 475,000 people found that short sleepers increased the risk of developing or dying coronary heart disease (CHD) by 48% over a follow-up period of seven -twenty-five years. It is interesting to note that long sleepers, those who have an average of nine or more hours per night, have also shown an increased risk of 38% to develop or die CHD. Lack of sleep does not necessarily cause heart disease, but actually increases the risk factors for heart disease.
Simple tips to change habits:
Replacing healthy habits with unhealthy people rewards us with good health and a better quality of life. Many still find it difficult to incorporate healthy habits into their lives sooner or later they return to an unhealthy lifestyle, thus losing all the beneficial effects they have had. Like any other healthy habit, healthy habits must be followed in life.
The following suggestions will help us incorporate healthy habits into life:
• You must make a decision and make conscious efforts to stick to the commitment.
• The triggers and obstacles that must be overcome must be discovered, otherwise a failure will be created.
• A plan should be devised and reviewed time to time.
• Visualizations and statements should be used, relating to habits to be changed because they program the subconscious with the right mentality to establish a new habit.
• By enlisting the support of family and friends, we can avoid the temptation that could hinder our efforts.
• We should find ways to reward ourselves because they make us feel good, even if it is only temporarily. They will help us stay motivated to stay on track.
The bottom line:
Our awareness of heart disease as the number one cause of death worldwide has increased. Nevertheless, many still lack the adequate knowledge of those healthy habits that must be incorporated to keep our ticker strong. Moreover, even if many make efforts to adopt them, they cannot continue with them and are so incapable of benefiting them.