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Heart disease can come as quite a shock but they can be prevented and treated to some extent. Prevention is better than cure; certain lifestyle changes can not only help you prevent heart disease but help undo some damage done over the years as well. Two practices - diet and exercise - can help you maintain heart health.
World Heart Day is all about informing people about the dangers of heart disease; it is one of the leading causes of death each year. To battle this alarming problem, we urge you to work out and include healthy foods in your diet on the occasion of World Heart Day 2020. Start working out at your favorite gyms with FITPASS or at home with FITCOACH and get daily diet suggestions with FITFEAST.
Each movement and action helps the heart pump more blood to the different body parts. Blood carries oxygen, good levels of which keep your body functioning well. Exercise strengthens your heart and lowers blood pressure thereby reducing bad (LDL) cholesterol levels and risk of heart disease. Marinating LDL levels is essential to prevent a heart attack. Exercise also raises good (HDL) cholesterol levels that prevent fatty deposits in the arteries.
- Aerobic Exercises can help improve blood circulation and thus lower blood pressure and heart rate. Including aerobic exercises in your gym workout or home workout reduces the risk of type-2 diabetes.
- Strength Training Exercises help burn fat and improve body composition. Being overweight or having extra fat puts pressure on the heart. Include resistance training in your gym routine to reduce fat and gain lean mass.
- Stretching and other flexibility workouts aid heart health indirectly. Stretching exercises reduce joint pain, cramps, and muscular problems that allow you to perform better in aerobics classes and strength training sessions.
Start with a 45-minute home workout or 30-minute gym workout if you haven’t exercised for a few months. Working out 3-4 times a week is enough to keep your heart healthy but you can increase the intensity, duration, and frequency depending on what suits you. However, do not overwork your body as that can cause injuries.
What, when, and how often you eat determine your weight, hormones, metabolism, and organ health, which includes your heart. Exercising alone is not enough; you need to control what you eat to prevent heart disease and stroke.
Healthy Fats – not all fats are bad, some are good for you. Choose monounsaturated fats like canola or olive oil for cooking instead of the same old mustard oil. Include avocados in your daily diet plan to get more monounsaturated fats.
Have seeds and nuts for polyunsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids – both good for the heart. Both of them can be found in fatty fish like tuna and salmon.
Fiber-rich foods – they improve your metabolism. Include more vegetables and fruits in your diet plan to fulfill your need for vitamins and minerals. Substitute regular grains with whole grains like quinoa, whole-wheat, couscous, etc.
Sodium – reduce the intake of foods that contain sodium. Use other spices of no-salt seasoning instead of salt. Reduce consumption of pre-packaged foods because they usually contain high sodium amounts.
Saturated & Trans Fats – fatty meats, whole-milk dairy products, butter, coconut oil, etc. should be avoided. Say no to microwave popcorn, frozen pizza, coffee creamers, etc.
Sugar – reduce or stop the consumption of sweetened drinks like sodas and sports drinks, sweetened snacks like cakes and pies, ice-cream, syrups, etc.
Alcohol – always drink alcohol in moderation – no more than 2 drinks a day. Alcohol raises blood pressure and leads to weight gain that can be harmful to the heart.
Do whatever you can to stay healthy and fit. We wish you a healthy year ahead. Happy World Heart Day!