Embracing heart healthy habits is the key to keeping the heart in top shape and making a huge difference in preventing diseases.
The risks for several heart diseases fall significantly when people practice these heart healthy habits, which we will explore more in this article.
Facts on Heart Disease
Here’s a sobering fact: More than two million Australians currently live with heart disease or are at high risk of having one. But despite the odds, there are still powerful tools to help tip the scales: lifestyle changes.
The choices one makes every day have a profound impact on heart health. The more positive changes one commits, the better the heart condition will be.
Study shows that individuals who adopt four to five healthy lifestyle factors are expected to live longer without risk of heart disease than those who have unhealthy habits. These include eating wisely, weight management, regular exercise, non-smoking, and low to no alcohol use.
Here, we break down six lifestyle changes that can make a turn toward better heart health.
6 Heart Healthy Habits to Prevent Heart Disease
- Manage Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Levels
High blood pressure with rates higher than the average 130/80 can constantly strain the heart. It is best to talk with a doctor on recommended steps to lower the numbers.
On the other hand, high cholesterol levels can also increase the risk of heart disease. A healthy diet and regular exercise can prevent these from developing into something serious and promote heart healthy lifestyle.
Start with cutting the amount of fried foods and processed foods. Instead, replace them with plant-based food such as whole grains and foods low in saturated fat.
- Maintain a Healthy Weight
People who are overweight or have excess fats have a higher risk of developing heart disease. Carrying the extra weight can put additional stress on the heart and blood vessels.
Find out the healthy Body Mass Index (BMI) appropriate for you and work with a doctor or health expert to achieve that.
- Eat a Balanced Diet
Incorporating healthy meals and snacks into the diet help prevent heart disease and its complications. Be sure to add plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables to the grocery list.
Try limiting the salt or sodium in the diet to lower blood pressure. Food high in saturated and trans fat has a higher chance of contributing to heart disease.
Portion control is also important, especially for people struggling with losing weight.
- Regular Exercise
Studies show that inactive people or those living sedentary lifestyles are more likely to experience a heart attack than those who are active.
The ideal amount of physical exercise is at least 30 minutes, four to five times a week. For people strapped with time, engaging in 10-minute intervals can help.
Every bit counts, and it does not necessarily mean spending hours at the gym. Do some dances while cooking, fold the laundry, or take a brisk walk around the neighbourhood after dinner.
- Quit smoking
Smoking is one of the worst habits that can negatively impact the heart. Consuming one cigarette a day increases the chance of developing heart disease and other chronic conditions.
- Manage Stress Levels
Excessive stress is not considered heart-healthy. It brings negative health effects on the body and unwanted behaviours such as smoking, alcoholism, and overeating.
It is not always easy to manage stress, but meditation can be one outlet for finding a sense of calm and peace.
Follow these heart healthy tips, and you’ll be doing your heart a favour. Feel better and function at your best with these healthy lifestyles.
On top of these changes, education and training in first aid can be useful in reducing hospitalisation and fatality rates from heart illnesses.
A trained bystander will know how and when to access the Australian EMS system (call Triple Zero 000) and learn how to address airway, breathing, and circulation.
Without first aid intervention, a person in an emergency can go unto sudden cardiac arrest and suffer serious consequences.
Get tips and tricks to help manage heart emergencies with a first aid course.
Sign up today to learn more.