ad collaborative post // Heart-related diseases are still among the leading causes of death globally. This is despite the efforts of the World Health organization to curtail the threat of cardiovascular diseases to human life. WHO’s initiative dubbed ‘Global Hearts’ was launched in 2016 to bolster the control and prevention of CVD by promoting healthy living and better health care.
In line with WHO’s approach towards fighting heart related diseases, we have researched and written on some of the ways to keep healthy and stay safe from CVD. These tips are general healthy lifestyle guidelines for people of both genders. They can assist in developing a great prevention plan. Let’s delve in:
Know the risk factors
Some factors contribute to the unnecessary buildup of fats that make the arteries narrow throughout the body. Knowing the risk factors of heart-related disease can help you decide on the precautions to take to avoid exposure.
Luckily, most of these factors can be improved with a healthy lifestyle. Some of the common risk factors include:
Women of 55 years and above and men of 45 years or older have high chances of getting heart-related diseases than their younger ones.
- High blood pressure
With time, high blood pressure can cause damage to the arteries, which are the leading blood suppliers to the heart. When it happens alongside other conditions like diabetes, high cholesterol, and obesity, high blood pressure increases heart attack even more.
- High cholesterol levels
Having too much low-density lipoprotein or LDL can narrow your arteries and lead to blockage of blood flow to the heart. Avoid too many fats, use cholesterol-free cooking oils, and eat plenty of vegetables and fruits.
- Smoking and illicit drug use
Smoking tobacco and too much exposure to smoke put you at risk of heart-related diseases. Also, excessive use of hard drugs like amphetamine and cocaine can cause spasms of arteries, leading to a heart attack.
- Family history of heart disease
If your grandparents, parents, or siblings have had a history of any heart-related disease, then you are at risk of having a heart attack. Most probably at the ages of 45 and above in men and 55 and over in women.
- Eat a healthy and balanced diet
Making smart choices of planning your eating habit around vegetables, whole grains, fruits, legumes, nuts, fish, and lean animal protein is an excellent way to start. Reduce consumption of processed foods, sweetened drinks, and refined carbohydrates.
Healthy eating puts your blood pressure and cholesterol under control and reduces the risk of stroke and heart attack.
- Be physically fit
The heart is a muscular organ that requires activity. Keeping your heart in an aerobic zone improves systolic function. Doing regular exercises lowers blood pressure and helps keep your weight in check.
It is recommended that an average adult person should have 150 minutes of light-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of intense aerobic activity every week.
If you are not active, you should start with light walks and runs. If you are already keeping fit, you need to maintain and even increase for more benefits.
- Live smoke-free life
If you have never smoked or used any tobacco products, do not ever start. Tobacco and excessive use of illicit drugs are harmful to your health and increase your chances of developing heart disease.
If you are struggling to quit smoking and illicit drugs, talk to a health professional to help you leave the habit using some proven methods. Do not leave tobacco and jump to secondhand smoke.
- Manage stress and health conditions
If you are having a particular health condition like diabetes, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, or heart-related conditions, ensure you follow the doctor’s instructions strictly. Such conditions increase your risk of heart disease if not controlled.
Some people have poor stress management skills like smoking, drinking, or overeating. Look for other options of managing stress like meditation/relaxation or physical exercise to help improve your heart health.
- Do regular medical screening
Too much exposure to risk factors like high cholesterol and high blood pressure damages arteries and your heart if not controlled. Without a medical checkup, you probably won’t realize you have the conditions.
Regular tests can show you whether you have a healthy heart or you should take action. Complete body screening tests for sexually transmitted diseases and allows you to take appropriate according to the results.
- Learn some First Aid and CPR skills
Heart attack and cardiac arrests can occur to anyone at any time. Providing immediate help to a heart attack victim can help preserve life until paramedics arrive on the scene.
Learn some skills such as performing chest compressions, mouth to mouth resuscitation, and basic first aid knowledge. This will give you courage in emergencies and help preserve life until specialized care arrives.
- Get quality sleep
Lack of sleep can do you more harm than good if the sequence continues for long. People who do not get enough sleep have high chances of high blood pressure, obesity, heart attack, depression, and diabetes.
Averagely, a person needs a minimum of seven hours of sleep every night. Have a sleep schedule and stick to it, develop a culture of quality sleep. Make your bedroom dark and aerated to facilitate sleep.
If you feel consistent tiredness during the day even after enough sleep, consult your doctor and be tested for the obstructive apnea-a condition, that increases your risk of a heart attack.
The truth is, a healthy lifestyle is a perfect way of keeping a healthy heart and avoiding brain diseases.
It means taking charge of your health and making wise decisions like eating healthy, avoiding smoking, managing your health conditions, and keeping fit to reduce risk of heart diseases.
Being equipped with CPR skills can be handy in offering immediate help to heart attack victims. As usual, communication is important in keeping off risk factors, talk to your healthcare provider about your health and ask questions. Do regular screening to know your general health status.