Protect your heart: Advice for a healthy life at any age

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 03.11.2019 17:48
Updated 03.11.2019 17:53
An elderly woman is examined by a doctor.
An elderly woman is examined by a doctor.

Our heart is perhaps the most delicate and important part of our body; but due to unhealthy choices, we can unintentionally put it in harm's way. With a few easy tips, you can have a healthy heart at any age

From unhealthy diet to lack of exercise, smoking, high cholesterol and hypertension, there are numerous factors that can cause cardiac diseases. According to World Health Organization, cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death globally: more people die annually from cardiovascular diseases than from any other cause. An estimated 17.9 million people died from cardiovascular diseases in 2016, representing 31% of all global deaths. Of these deaths, 85% are due to heart attack and stroke.

However, most cardiovascular diseases can be prevented by addressing behavioral risk factors such as tobacco use, unhealthy diet and obesity, physical inactivity and harmful use of alcohol using population-wide strategies. Professor Ender Semiz claims that with few lifestyle adjustments, it is not hard to protect out heart regardless of your age.

Eat healthy

It is important to adopt a healthy diet that includes all types of nutrition but in limited portions. Professor Semiz says that vegetables, fruits, legumes and fish should be a part of your diet regardless of season. "According to recent researches, Mediterranean diet decreases the risk of cardiovascular diseases. It is crucial to stay away from fast food as well as food that has trans-fat, refined sugar," added Semiz. He also said that carbonated beverages have been proofed to increase the risk of diabetes 20%.

Exercise is a must

Regular physical activity is the best way to protect your cardiovascular systems. However, an active life should be a lifestyle. Exercise encourages the heart's arteries to dilate more readily. It also helps your sympathetic nervous system which controls your heart rate and blood pressure to be less reactive. But these changes may take weeks, months, or even years to reach their full effect. It is advised to involve in moderate physical activity for 150 minutes or 75 minutes of heavy exercise a week.

Monitor your weight

Being over-weight means that you are tiring your heart more than you should. It also causes diabetes, blood pressure and eventually cardiovascular diseases, hence it is important to get down to your ideal weight if you want to protect your heart. With obesity becoming a problem among kinds more than adults, parents have a lot more responsibility on their shoulders.

Stop smoking

One third of cardiovascular related deaths are caused by smoking or passive smoking. Do not forget that the path to a healthy heart of life are paved without cigarettes. The recent studies also point out that electronic cigarettes are as dangerous as real ones.

Limit salt consumption

"Limiting 1gr of salt consumption in people between the ages 30 and 80 with high blood pressure is proved to decrease the risk of any cardiovascular diseases," said Professor Semiz. According to Semiz the tomato paste and other ingredients you add while you are cooking has more than enough salt that your body needs.

Sleep routine is key

It has been proofed that sleeping for less than six hours increases blood pressure and the risk of getting a cardiovascular disease. However, sleeping for longer hours also has the same effect. So, it is important to find the right routine. Experts claim seven to eight hours of sleep every day is key for a healthy heart.

Stress management

Every day stress, depression, uneasiness and anger put your heart in a difficult position. These feelings tire your heart, making it vulnerable for cardiovascular diseases. In such cases, it is important to manage your stress and keep your stress hormone at a healthy level.

Socialize for a healthy heart

Humankind is a social creature. Semiz claims that limited social circles, loneliness and weak phycology is one of the reasons for your heart to give up so easily. "The studies show that people with bad social relations are open to have cardiovascular diseases 50% more than people with a good social life," said Semiz.

Keep your heart checked

You can be never too cautious. You may follow the right footsteps to have a healthy heart but it never hurts to get your heart checked by a specialist periodically. If you have a family history of heart attack of stroke or you do not follow the advises we mentioned above, it is important to book regular checkups to make sure your heart is beating with its full capacity.

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