The month of February falls under American Heart Month and is the ideal time for women to pay attention to their health and heart. Based on the American Heart Association, Heart disease and stroke are responsible for 1 in 3 deaths in women each year.
However, around 90% of heart-related diseases are preventable. Understanding more about heart disease and understanding the lifestyle changes that maintain your heart’s health can assist you in avoiding issues later on. Here is a pro guide for a healthy and active heart.
Exercise to Keep Your Heart Healthy
Exercise is among the critical factors in keeping your heart in good shape throughout your life. The American Heart Association gives the following guidelines for adults who exercise:
Take a minimum of 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes each week of vigorous aerobic exercise or a mixture of both.
Incorporate moderate- to high-intensity exercise that strengthens your muscles (such as weights or resistance) at least 2 days every week.
Reduce the amount of time you sit. Even moderate-intensity exercise can mitigate some of the risks of sitting for long periods.
You can reap even more benefits by exercising at least 300 mins (5 hours) each week.
Increase intensity and quantity gradually as time passes.
Don’t be worried if you cannot get to 150 minutes per week at first. Everybody has to begin somewhere. If you’ve been sitting for many years, you can make healthy changes to your lifestyle. Set reachable goals. You can progress towards the recommended amount by increasing the amount of time as you grow stronger.
The easiest way to exercise and enhance your health is to begin walking. It’s simple, accessible, and can be completed in almost any place. You can break it into short periods of exercise during your day. A walk of five or ten minutes a couple of times per day can make a difference.
Follow a Heart-Healthy Diet
Like exercise, diet plays an essential role in maintaining your heart health. It is recommended to eat a healthy diet consisting of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean protein (poultry and fish, and nuts or legumes) and dairy products that are low in fat. However, these items may be altered based on the dietary requirements of different health issues or options (for example, if you follow an all-plant diet). Consult your physician before you begin any diet program to ensure that you are making the right decisions for yourself.
The most essential tips for eating heart-healthy include:
Take a varied diet of fresh, frozen, and canned fruits and vegetables with no high-calorie sauces or added sugars and salt.
Replace high-calorie food items with vegetables and fruits.
Select whole grains with high levels of fiber for the vast majority of grain-based servings.
Select fish and poultry free of skin and cook in healthy ways, with no trans or saturated fat.
If you decide on a meat-based diet, search for the tiniest cuts of meat that are available
Choose fat-free (skim) and low-fat (1 percent) dairy foods.
Avoid eating foods that contain partially hydrogenated vegetable oils to cut down on trans fats within your food.
Reduce trans and saturated fat and replace them with healthier fats
Reduce your intake of drinks and food items that contain added sugars.
Find foods with less sodium, and cook dishes with less or no salt.
If you consume alcohol, take it slowly. It’s not drinking more than 1 drink in a day for women.
Cut Out Bad Habits
Getting your diet and workout regimen in check is an excellent starting point to ensure your heart stays healthy. However, it is vital to keep an eye on other habits that could be negative for your heart health.
Sleep What amount of sleep you receive (or do not get) affects how you feel. The National Sleep Foundation suggests that people aged 18-64 get 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night to ensure optimal health.
Smoking Tobacco smoking can be harmful to almost everything good for your health. Smoking tobacco can increase the risk of developing heart illness and stroke. We know it isn’t easy to stop this habit. Do not hesitate to seek assistance to quit. There are resources available, as well as smokefree.gov has resources that you can utilize. Talk to your doctor.
Stress: Some stress is inevitable; however, excessive stress in your life could cause harm to your physical and mental health. Understanding healthy ways to manage stress methods can help maintain your heart health.
Types of heart disease prevention
When experts in heart prevention typically speak of three kinds of prevention that include primary, secondary, and primary prevention. The three types share the same elements but have different beginning times and different outcomes.
Secondary prevention These efforts are initiated after suffering a stroke or heart attack, undergoing angioplasty bypass surgeries, or suffering any other type of coronary disease. This involves taking medication such as the cholesterol-lowering statin aspirin quitting smoking, losing weight when needed, exercising more, and following a healthier diet.
While secondary prevention can seem like “closing the barn door after the horse has gone,” it’s not. These measures can help prevent a heart attack or a stroke, stop the development of heart disease and help prevent early death. It’s not apparent that the most frequent death rate for those who survive a heart attack is the second heart attack.
The primary preventive Primary prevention aims to prevent a person at risk of developing heart disease from suffering a first stroke or heart attack and requiring surgery or angioplasty or developing another heart-related type.
Primarily, it is targeted at those who have already established cardiovascular risk factors, for example, excessive blood pressure or cholesterol. Like second-line prevention, primary prevention is focused on controlling the risk factors by making changes to your lifestyle and, if necessary, using medications. These risk causes indicate that inflammation, atherosclerosis, or endothelial dysfunction are present, and, most of the time, they aren’t easily reversed.
Prevention through primordial means The word “primordial” signifies that something has been in existence since the very beginning. Primordial prevention is working to stop atherosclerosis, inflammation, and endothelial dysfunction from developing and, consequently, avoid risks such as high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, excessive weight, and eventually heart attacks.
Although it was once not a subject of discussion, fundamental prevention is now at the heart of the American Heart Association’s definitions of ideal heart health and efforts to assist people in attaining it. As the name suggests, the earlier you start taking preventive measures from the age of 5 to protect yourself from heart disease.
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