There are various healthy tips for maintaining a healthy heart and leading a healthy life. Some of them are as follows:
1. Stop smoking. The single most important thing a person can do to live longer and to have a healthy heart is to quit smoking. You are twice likely to have a heart attack if you are a smoker than a non-smoker. But from the moment you stop smoking, the risk of heart attack starts to reduce.
2. Cut down on salt. Too much salt can cause high blood pressure, which increases the risk of developing coronary heart disease. You must avoid foods like sauces, pizzas, pork pies, crisps, salted nuts, canned and packet soups and ready meals. Many breakfast cereals and breads that appear healthy also contain high levels of salt, so keep your eye on these too. This will ensure that you lead a healthy life.
3. Be cautious about diet. A healthy diet can bring down the risk of developing heart disease, and can also help increase the chances of survival after a heart attack. You should try to have a balanced diet, containing plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, oily fish, starchy foods such as wholegrain bread, pasta and rice.
4. Watch your alcohol. Too much alcohol can damage the heart muscle, increase blood pressure and also lead to weight gain. Your chances of suffering a heart attack increase if you indulge in binge drinking, so you should aim to limit your intake to one to two units a day.
5. Become active. The heart is a muscle which has to be exercised to keep fit so that it can pump blood efficiently round your body with each heart beat. You should try to get 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise a day.
6. Control your weight. The number of people who are overweight is increasing all over the world. Extra weight as fat can affect your health greatly and increases the risk of life-threatening conditions such as diabetes and coronary heart disease. If you are overweight or obese, start by making small, but healthy changes to what you eat, and try to become more active.
7. Check your blood pressure and cholesterol levels by your GP: The higher your blood pressure, the shorter your life expectancy. People with high blood pressure run a higher risk of having a stroke or a heart attack. High levels of cholesterol in the blood – produced by the liver from saturated fats – can lead to fatty deposits in your coronary arteries that increase your risk of coronary heart disease and stroke.
8. Try to manage your stress levels. If you find things are getting on top of you, you may fail to eat properly, smoke and drink too much and this may increase your risk of a heart attack.