Cardiovascular diseases are the most common non-communicable diseases globally. CVDs are the number 1 cause of death globally, 85% of these deaths are due to heart attack and stroke. Known risk factors, many of which can be reduced or managed, cause the vast majority of subsequent heart attacks. Making lifestyle changes to lower your risk factors lessens your chances for having another heart attack and helps you feel better overall.
Here are a few changes you can make in your daily life to help keep your heart healthy.
Healthy Eating Plan
A healthy eating plan is one of the best ways to combat cardiovascular disease. Determine how many calories you need in order to lose or maintain a moderate weight and aim to stay within that range each day. Limit saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, red meat, sweets, and sugar-sweetened beverages. Instead, eat more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats and oils.
Cardiovascular exercise strengthens your heart and helps lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It also acts as a stress reliever and mood enhancer. The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise, at least 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise, or a combination of both. Whether you decide to walk, run, swim, ride your bike, or even engage in some types of household chores, you can improve your health.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Carrying extra weight requires your heart to work harder, which in turn increases your risk for heart disease. Having high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or high blood sugar can increase your risk even more. Introducing exercise and diet modifications into your life as often as possible can help you maintain a moderate weight and lower your risk factors.
Monitor BP and Cholesterol regularly
Hypertension puts added stress on your heart and blood vessels. Engaging in regular exercise, eating a low-sodium diet, and maintaining a moderate weight can work wonders. Statins are frequently prescribed to lower levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) the “bad” cholesterol that increases your risk for heart disease.
Maintain good Mental Health
Maintaining good mental health can benefit you in many ways. If you’re able to have a positive outlook about your treatment after a heart attack, including any lifestyle changes, this can help reduce your risk for heart problems. After a heart attack, you’ll likely experience a wide range of emotions, including depression and anxiety. These emotions can make it more difficult to implement and maintain habits that will greatly improve your health.