Almost all health-conscious individuals are aware of what they need to do for keeping their hearts perfectly healthy. You may have lost track of the number of times your near and dear ones or your family physician has advised you to exercise regularly, steer clear of smoking, and take nutritious meals at proper meal times. Without an iota of doubt, it can be expressed convincingly that cardiologists are medical specialists who’re best placed to offer you the right tips on how to prevent or delay the onset of coronary artery disease and heart attacks. Following are some easy-to-follow tips, tactics, and tricks that cardiologists themselves heed for the sake of their heart health.
1. Take it Easy
Jennifer Haythe, MD, Co-Director of the Women’s Center for Cardiovascular Health, New York City and assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiology at the Center for Advanced Cardiac Care at Columbia University Medical Center, firmly believes that you should take it easy when it comes to keeping yourself healthy. She never tires of recommending her associates, friends, and patients that sticking to a daily routine that is convenient eventually turns out to be far more effective than following an intense fat burning or detox program.
She avoids junk or fried foods, and processed snacks or chips, and subsists on a Mediterranean-styled diet. She consumes more fruits, vegetables, salads, and lightly cooked fish and takes desserts sparingly. Simply put, eating more natural food items and less to minimally processed foods spares you from the hassle of having to read the labels before you purchase a packet.
2. Walk for the sake of heart health
Physicians, fitness experts, dieticians, and nutritionists, and almost every other healthcare professional have always maintained that walking is the best form of workout that you can do for the sake of heart health. Walking at the same time is also the most convenient form of exercise that you can perform on a day-to-day basis. If you’re really sincere about keeping yourself healthy, you can always find at least ½-1 hour every day for striding or fast-walking.
Instead of driving to a workplace in your personal vehicle, take the public transport (subway or bus) and disembark at least 2-3 stops before and walk down the rest of the distance. And if the office is within 3-4 km of your residence, you can start a little early and cover the distance by foot. Alternatively, you can oftentimes walk to the supermarket or the open-air market rather than drive. The idea is to physically exert yourself as much as possible so as to keep the limbs, joints, tendons, ligaments, and muscles in perfect working order.
3. Be Light-footed
Rapid strides in technology have made our lives so comfortable that nowadays we can get everything we need and complete daily chores without ever having to move out of the chair or seat. The majority of the job positions that working professionals hold these days are sedentary in nature. However, staying sedentary for the greater part of the working day can be damaging from the perspective of your heart health, not to mention your overall health condition.
If your job requires you to sit or stand for hours at a stretch, then try to take a short break at regular intervals. Walk up and down the hallway or passageway for 5-10 minutes before you go back to your seat. You can also perform some light exercises while you’re in a sedentary position, like stretching your feet fully and trying to touch the toes with your hands by bending forwards.
4. Sleep Soundly for 8 Hours Every Night
Jennifer Haythe, MD and practicing cardiologist makes sure she sleeps soundly for nothing less than 7-8 hours each night in order to rest her body and mind completely. Sleeping tight for about 8 hours thoroughly rejuvenates her when she wakes up the morning after and she is ready to start afresh for another hectic day. Not getting enough sleep can eventually lead to a plethora of health issues, including obesity and hypertension. Persistent failure to rein in high blood pressure might eventually lead to heart attacks and/or strokes that might turn out to be fatalistic.
5. Spend Time with Family and Friends
Several studies have indicated that staying cut-off from your near and dear ones or remaining isolated puts you in the high-risk zone of suffering from a host of illnesses or disorders including depression and heart disease. Social isolation can also in the long run cause early death according to a study that was spearheaded by Andrew Steptoe, professor of epidemiology and public health at University College, London. There is sufficient statistics to corroborate the generalization or belief that people having robust interpersonal relationships tend to lead the life with joie-de-vivre and live longer.
6. Schedule workouts in the morning and stick to the routine
It has always been easier to find enough alibis to not workout than the other way round, and it always will be. You can get by and get away by expressing your helplessness that you’re too caught up with getting ready for work or that you’ve to give time to your family and kids after getting back from work. You may be able to keep on fooling others as long as you wish to but do you think you’d be able to cheat on your system indefinitely?
Sooner or later a disease-stricken body (and mind as well) will catch up with you. Surely, getting up one hour early to take a stroll around the park or jogging your way to work won’t be a very tall order.
7. Give up smoking and drink occasionally
Though this goes without saying, smoking is extremely pernicious as far as your heart health is concerned. Smoking, in the long run, kills your lungs’ and heart cells, constructs and hardens arteries transferring blood, and is a major risk factor for heart attacks. So, giving up smoking altogether would be in your best interests. On the other hand, consuming red wine or whiskey regularly may be damaging for your heart. So, it’d be better to drink in moderation rather than excessively.
Image Credit: geralt