The modern lifestyle has placed an enormous burden on our heart and other vital organs. The Heart is a very powerful organ, supplying oxygen and nutrition-rich blood to all parts of the body. The heart first starts beating inside a foetus of 5-6 weeks in the mother’s womb, and continues beating throughout life without a moment’s rest. Sounds like a lot of hard work, right? So keeping the heart fit and healthy is paramount to our survival – New Medical Center in Abu Dhabi, Health Center in Abu Dhabi
There are FIVE KILLERS that slowly work against your heart’s health, so it is helpful to learn to avoid these dangerous habits.
1. Sitting more often.
This seems like the common norm – If you have nothing else to do, you sit. If you are at the computer or in the office, you sit. While watching TV or having dinner, again one sits. More than 5 hours of sitting every day can double your chances of heart failure. Modern sedentary lifestyle, and long office hours where you sit and stare at your computer for long hours, as disastrous effects on heart health. We must make it a habit to get up every hour or so and walk around for 5 minutes, to get the blood flow circulating and arteries healthy.
Stress is undoubtedly the biggest killer of present times. The count of diseases that can be attributed to stress are innumerable. The devastating effects of stress include faster breathing, increased heart rate, and high blood pressure by constricting the blood vessels. Chronic stress makes the heart over-worked and leads to early failure over time.
To minimise the effects of stress, try the following:
> Emotionally connect with people: Not all of us are blessed with loving family support and great friends. But having just one true friend, with whom one can talk one’s true feelings is enough to make life worthwhile. Humans are social beings by nature, so solitary living is not something that comes naturally to us.
> Be active: Keep your mind engaged with hobbies and stuff you are passionate about. Moderate exercise also uplifts our mood and keeps stress at bay.
> Planning the day: A lot of unnecessary stress at home and workspace can be avoided if the day is planned in advance, so there are less disappointments and last-minute rushes.
3. Salt in excess.
A lot many modern, processed foods are stuffed with salt; like fried chips, canned vegetables and soups, frozen dinners etc. The sodium present in salt is known to increase blood pressure, and thus damage the heart over a long term.
Reduce your salt intake to the recommended daily intake of 1 tsp per day. Try innovative ways of seasoning foods with rich, natural herbs and spices in the place of salt.
The chemicals present in cigarette smoke has damaging effects on the blood vessel lining and heart tissue. It also causes plaque buildup in the blood vessels, thereby increasing the risk of heart disease.
It goes without saying that smoking kills. So try effective ways to quit smoking for good and protect your heart.
5. Sleep deprivation.
Lack of sleep has profound consequences on our physical health, including that of the heart. Sleep is the time when the blood vessels relax and the heart slows down. People with sleep apnea, a sleeping disorder where they wake up frequently in the middle of the night, are known to have compromised heart health.
Try to sleep the recommended 8 hours daily. Sleep is the magic pill that protects the heart from the damaging effects of stressful living.
The heart beats for us non-stop throughout our lives, with an efficiency no man-made pump can match. We can save our hearts from damage by making some positive changes in our lives, like sleeping more, eating healthy, and exercising more often.
Let’s start living for a healthy heart and a fuller, happier life.