Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide and sadly, people still engage in practices which are harmful to their heart health daily. Your heart is responsible for pumping oxygenated blood to all organs and other parts of your body and without it, your body is sure to shut down. A heart attack occurs as a result of a blockage of blood flow to the heart, often due to a build-up of fat or cholesterol which blocks the coronary arteries from pumping blood back to the heart. This often results in heart failure and eventually, death.
Individuals need to act now to prevent heart attacks and other related problems. Some steps you can take towards preventing heart attacks include:
1. Eat Right
Eating healthy can significantly lower your risk of heart disease. The foods you eat play a very important role in your overall health as they provide the necessary nutrients your body needs to survive. To prevent a heart attack, eat nutritious foods always. Ensure your diet contains a lot of fruit and vegetables, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. Avoid foods containing a lot of salt, saturated fats, sugars and other unhealthy components.
2. Maintain a healthy weight
Overweight people are at a higher risk of developing heart disease and several other cardiovascular diseases. This is especially true if most of the weight is situated around the stomach or abdomen. This combined with high blood sugar, high blood pressure and high cholesterol is called metabolic syndrome and sufferers are at a significantly high risk of heart disease. If you are overweight, losing weight can help lower your risk of heart disease and heart attacks. The more weight you lose, the lower your risk of heart disease gets.
3. Exercise regularly
Exercising regularly is not only a good way to lose weight; it is also important for a healthy heart. Moderate exercise and aerobic activity for about 30 minutes daily help put your heart to work, keeping it at an optimal level and lowering your chances of heart attacks and other heart diseases. Exercise, in this case, is not relegated to only time out at the gym. Even usual daily activities like taking a walk or doing some house chores can be helpful.
4. Sleep Regularly
People who don’t get enough sleep have a higher risk of heart disease than people who get quality sleep regularly. Lack of sleep has been linked to several health problems including diabetes, obesity and heart problems.
5. Avoid Smoking
Smoking can be very harmful to your heart health and greatly increase your risk of suffering a heart attack. Cigarette and tobacco smoke contain toxic chemicals which can get into your blood and damage your heart and blood vessels, causing your arteries to narrow, thus increasing your blood pressure. Smoking is also not only harmful to smokers but also non-smokers who inhale the smoke or fetuses in the case of pregnant women.
6. Avoid Stress
Stressful situations and experiences can result in harmful behaviours like smoking, lack of sleep, or binge drinking. These behaviours are very harmful to your heart and can lead to heart diseases. Avoid stress or find better and more effective ways of dealing with it.
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