It is not anymore easy to say who is prone to heart diseases and who isn’t. People of every age and sex, whether with a family history of heart diseases or not, are becoming victim to these. Heart or cardiovascular diseases have become a leading cause of death worldwide, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be avoided, or at least be pushed to a lot later in life. The best way to do so is by adopting a healthy lifestyle starting today. Here are a few heart disease prevention tips, for various age groups, to get you started.
All age groups
Start eating right.
Rightly speaking, you are what you eat. Choose foods that are low in saturated fat, transfats, cholesterol, sodium, sugars and added sweeteners. Eat more of fruits and vegetables, fiber rich wholegrain, fish (preferably oily ones), nuts, legumes and seeds. Include low-fat dairy products and lean and skinless meats & poultry.
Get active. Move around.
Get into the habit of daily yoga, aerobics and brisk walks. A little jogging or running would be an added workout. Also add some muscle strengthening activities that work all major muscle groups like that of the legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest shoulders and arms.
For the 20-something
Start check-up routines.
There was a time when young 20+ youth did not need to be checked for heart diseases. Not anymore. With our current lifestyle and food habits, our heart is at its vulnerable most. An early diagnosis can lead to complete cure. It is okay to trouble your doctor, but it’s not okay to trouble your heart.
Be physically active.
It’s a lot easier to be active and stay active if you start at a young age. Keep your workout routine interesting by mixing it up and finding new motivators.
No smoking. Avoid passive smoke as much as possible.
If you started smoking as a teen, it’s time to quit. Exposure to secondhand smoke itself poses a serious health hazard, so just imagine the killing ability of firsthand smoking. Nonsmokers are up to 30 percent more likely to develop heart disease or lung cancer from secondhand smoke exposure at home or work. Sad, but true!
For the 30-something
Make heart-healthy lifestyle a family thing.
Create and sustain heart-healthy habits in your parents, spouse and kids. Spend less time on the couch and more on the move. Explore a nearby park on foot or bicycle. Walk your pet. If you have the space, do some gardening. Involve your children in housekeeping and cooking activities.
Know your family history.
Keep track of diseases in your family. Having a relative with heart diseases increases your risk, especially if the person is your parent or sibling. That means you need to focus on risk factors you can control by maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, not smoking and eating right. Also, keep your doctor informed about your family medical history always.
Don’t let your stress control you.
Long-term stress causes an increase in heart rate and blood pressure that may damage the artery walls. Learning stress management techniques benefits your body and the quality of your life. Try deep breathing exercises and find time each day to do something you enjoy.
For the 40-something
Watch your weight.
Avoid weight gain with healthy diet consumption and plenty of exercise. Find a workout routine you will enjoy. If you need motivation to get moving, find a workout buddy or join walking clubs.
Blood sugar tests.
In addition to blood pressure checks and other heart-health screenings, you should test your blood glucose regularly. This first test serves as a baseline for future tests, which you should have every three years, at least. Testing may also be done earlier or more often if you are overweight, diabetic or at risk for becoming diabetic.
New snorers, watch out.
Listen to your sleeping partner’s complaints about your snoring. Don’t get embarrassed about it, but get conscious. One in five adults suffers from mild sleep apnea, a condition that causes pauses in breathing during sleep. If not properly treated, sleep apnea can contribute to high blood pressure, heart diseases or even stroke.
For the 50-something
Eat a healthy diet, no matter how boring.
It’s easy to slip into some unhealthy eating habits as you age. Refresh your eating habits eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, wholegrain, oily fish, nuts, legumes and seeds. Try avoiding meat as often as you can.
Learn the warning signs of a weakening heart.
Now is the time to get savvy about symptoms. Not everyone experiences sudden numbness with a stroke or severe chest pain with a heart attack. Also, heart attack symptoms in men and women may vary. Read about it and remain informed about all signs of a weak heart.
Follow your treatment plan, if any.
If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes or other conditions that increase the risk for heart diseases or stroke, it’s time be strict with yourself. Lower the risk by following your prescribed treatment plan, including medication, lifestyle and diet changes.There are many best heart surgery hospital in Bangalore but its always good to care before the condition become critical.
For the 60+
Have an ankle-brachial index test.
As soon as you turn 60, you must get an ankle-brachial index test done every year. The test will assess the pulse in your feet to help diagnose peripheral artery disease (PAD), a lesser-known cardiovascular disease in which plaque builds up in the leg arteries.
Watch your weight.
Your body burns fewer calories as you get older. Excess weight causes your heart to work harder and increases the risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol. Exercising regularly and eating smaller portions of nutrient-rich foods should some up your daily lifestyle.
Learn the warning signs of a heart attack and stroke.
Heart attack symptoms in women can be different than men. Knowing when you’re having a heart attack or stroke means that you’re more likely to seek and get immediate help. Quick treatment can save your life and prevent serious disability.
I hope you had an informative reading time. Follow our blog and spread the word among your friends and family too. That way you and people you love can keep yourself updated with health issues.
Live better, Live longer. Take care until next week, where we shall talk to you about obesity and its effects on the heart.