Making certain lifestyle changes can help prevent or treat the heart diseases, including, atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, coronary artery diseases, etc. For some people, lifestyle changes may be the only treatment required for a healthy heart. In this post, I have collected the top five lifestyle changes for the heart health.
- Follow a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet plays an important part of a healthy lifestyle since it can prevent or reduce the high blood pressure and also help you maintain a healthy weight. A therapeutic lifestyle change or TLC is a three-part program which includes a healthy diet, physical activity and weight management. Less than 7% of your daily calories should come from saturated fats that can be found in dairy products, meats, chocolate, deep fried and processed foods and baked goods. About 25-35% should include fats and include foods high in soluble fibres such as whole grains, fruits, legumes, etc., which will help prevent the digestive tract from absorbing the cholesterol. Eat vegetables and fish. Limit the amount of sodium and alcohol intake. DASH or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension focuses on eating fruits, whole grains, vegetables and other foods that are heart healthy and low in fat, cholesterol and salt, fat-free or low fat milk and dairy products.
- Be Physically Active
Regular physical activity can lower many atherosclerosis risk factors, including the LDL cholesterol, excess weight and high blood pressure. It can lower your risk for diabetes and raise your HDL cholesterol, which helps preven atherosclerosis. Talk with your doctor before starting a new exercise plan to ensure which kind of physical activity is safe for you.
- Maintain A Healthy Weight
Maintaining a healthy weight to a BMI of less than 25 can lower your risk for atherosclerosis. Consult your doctor or healthcare provider to set an appropriate BMI goal for you.
If you smoke or use tobacco, then quit it; as smoking can damage and tighten the blood vessels and raise your risk for atherosclerosis. You should talk with your physician about the programs and products which help you quit smoking and also try to avoid second hand smoke. You can consider joining a support group, if you have trouble quitting smoking on your own. There are many hospitals, community groups and workplaces offer classes which help people to quit smoking.
Some research shows that the most commonly reported trigger for a heart attack is an emotionally upsetting event involving anger. Additionally, some people cope up with stress by smoking, drinking or overeating and they aren’t healthy. Learn how to manage stress by relaxing and coping with the problems can improve your emotional and physical health. Surround yourself with supportive people in your life with whom you can share your feelings and concerns thereby help you relieve the stress. Physical activity, relaxation therapy and medications also help relieve stress. You can consider taking part in a stress management program.
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