610,000 people in the US die of heart disease per year – 1 in every 4 deaths. Whilst some of these are inherent problems, many develop later in life due to unhealthy lifestyle choices. If you want to protect this vital organ, here are just a few of the changes you can make to keep your heart happy.
A hearty meal
Heart problems are generally the result of too much fat, salt and sugar in our diets. Some foods are obvious offenders such as fried meats and cakes. Others include soda, margarine and powdered coffee creams. Eating more organic foods is often the best way to look after your heart, using more natural sugars from fruit and more natural salts from meats. Trading in fries more often for boiled potatoes, pasta and rice can also help.
Exercise helps to strengthen heart muscles, keep blood pressure low and keep blood flow high. This includes both aerobic and anaerobic exercises. Weight lifting has been viewed as bad for your heart in the past, but recent studies have shown that a bit of weight lifting can actually be very good for this organ as it builds those heart muscles up. The general rule of thumb is to stay active and not lead a sedentary lifestyle that will only cause your heart to become lazy.
Stress is also bad for our hearts. The overproduction of adrenalin and cortisol and increased white blood cell production creates an imbalance in our hearts that causes heart attacks. Taking steps to limit stress isn’t always easy and may require counselling. If work is to blame, consider whether the paycheque is worth the years that could be deducted from your life.
Packing in smoking
Smokers are twice as likely to have a heart attack than those that have never smoked. This is due to a number of reasons. It firstly damages the lining of the arteries by leading to a build-up of fat. Carbon monoxide in cigarettes meanwhile reduces the amount of oxygen in our blood, so that the heart has to beat harder. Nicotine meanwhile increases blood pressure by pumping adrenalin into the heart and causing it to pump unnecessarily faster. All in all, it’s much better for your heart to quit.
Already have a heart problem?
For, those that have already been diagnosed with a heart problem, the risks are heightened. The previous rules need to be followed strictly. Technology meanwhile can help reduce the likeliness. Foremost’s Refurbished AEDs are useful to have as an emergency option. Apps to measure one’s heart rate are also worth downloading and making use of.
There are fortunately many surgery options out there nowadays that can help get rid of heart problems such as bypass operations and stents. For those cases where surgery isn’t an option, a health adviser can be useful for maintaining a healthy regime.