5 lifestyle tips for a healthy heart

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In these unprecedented times when the world is coming to terms with and fighting a pandemic, it is more important now more than ever to take care of our hearts. 

According to the World Heart Federation, cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the primary cause of death on the planet and the causes range from ‘smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity, to air pollution, and rare and neglected conditions such as Chagas Disease and Cardiac amyloidosis’.

This year, on World Heart Day, the federation aims to spread awareness about taking care of our hearts and to ‘use heart to beat cardiovascular disease’, which can only happen when one brings about changes in their lifestyle and inculcate healthy eating habits among other things. 

So, here, we talk about a few easy ways by which you can ensure that your heart stays healthy and you stay strong. 

Take a look. 

Eating healthy

Our erratic lifestyle is of of the reasons use of processed food items, consumption of junk food is on the rise, the other being convenience. However, there’s no denying that homemade food, cooked from fresh vegetables is best for your heart and health. From locally-grown vegetables, whole grains, protein-rich food items such as chicken, eggs, meat, lentils to choosing healthy oils and including milk and milk-products in your diet, make sure to include at least  four items out of the five groups mentioned in your meals. 

Stress management

With a paradigm shift in the way life is in these unprecedented times, it is important that we don’t stress and try to stay calm and composed while dealing with the pandemic and putting our best foot forward in managing work and personal life balance. 

From being scared of getting infected, losing job, not getting to socialize to financial constraints, there are several factor that can cause stress. However, we have to make sure that we don’t let these get to us. The best is to talk it out. Call or video chat with friends and family members, tell them about how you feel so that you are relived of the stress in some form. This can go a long way in helping you stay focused, calm and also help your heart in turn before it starts to affect it adversely.

Physical activity

Exercising for at least 45 minutes in a day or taking every opportunity to walk around at home when working from home, going for a walk and ensuring 10,000 steps a daily to engaging in micro-workouts if you have shortage of time, can go a long way in helping your heart stay healthy. 

Ensure enough sleep

Adequate sleep is key to ensuring a healthy heart, lack of sleep increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases. With work from home being the new normal these days, you might be taking afternoon naps and staying awake till late in the night, but that isn’t going to help since the circadian oscillator in our brain works on solar time. So, ensuring that you sleep for at least 7-8 hours at night will not only help you stay fit and energetic during the day, but also keep your heart healthy. 

Regular screening

Besides ensuring that you follow all the above, it is imperative that regular screening to ensure overall wellness of the heart is done. With increasing age, this becomes even more important. Therefore, make sure that you get yourself tested every six months or so and if at all medications are prescribed by a doctor, you take them on time. 

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