Incorporating Heart Healthy Habits in Life

According to the American Heart Association, heart disease remains the No. 1 global cause of death with 17.3 million deaths each year. That number is expected to rise to more than 23.6 million by 2030.

The Heart Foundation suggests that cardiovascular diseases claim more lives than all forms of cancer combined and coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease, killing nearly 380,000 people annually.

Many of us are well aware of these facts about heart diseases but still we do so little for the health of our tickers, which keep working grudgingly for us despite being subjected to our neglect. Caring for our tickers requires attention to many aspects of our life. By adopting the following heart healthy habits, we can add years to life besides staving off financial burden.

Heart healthy habits:

Exercise regularly – Our heart is a muscle that needs to be worked regularly to stay strong and healthy. Though any amount of exercise is better than no exercise, we must aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic physical activity (e.g., brisk walking) every week or 1 hour and 15 minutes (75 minutes) of vigorous intensity aerobic physical activity (e.g., jogging, running) or a combination of both every week.

In addition, we need muscle strengthening activities that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest shoulders, and arms) on 2 or more days a week.

Eat healthy – We must choose foods low in saturated fat, trans fat, and sodium. In addition, we must eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, fiber-rich whole grains, fish (preferably oily fish at least twice per week), nuts, legumes and seeds and try eating some meals without meat. Further, one should limit sugar-sweetened beverages and red meat. If one chooses to eat meat, one should select the leanest cuts available.

Quit smoking – Smoking is a major cause of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and causes one of every three deaths from CVD. The risk of CVD increases with the number of cigarettes smoked per day as well as the numbers of years they were smoked. Smoking cigarettes with lower levels of tar or nicotine does not reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease.

Avoid second hand smoke – People are more likely to develop heart disease if exposed to second-hand smoke at home or work. According to the American Heart Association, exposure to tobacco smoke contributes to about 34,000 premature heart disease deaths and 7,300 lung cancer deaths each year. This is because the chemicals emitted from cigarette smoke promote the development of plaque buildup in the arteries.

Practice dental hygiene – It has been found that bacteria in the mouth, involved in the development of gum disease, can move into the bloodstream and cause an elevation in C-reactive protein, a marker for inflammation in the blood vessels. These changes may, in turn, increase our risk of heart disease and stroke.

Have regular and adequate sleep daily – A 2011 European Heart Journal review of 15 medical studies involving almost 475,000 people found that short sleepers had a 48% increased risk of developing or dying from coronary heart disease (CHD) in a seven to 25-year follow-up period. Interestingly, long sleepers, those who averaged nine or more hours a night, also showed a 38% increased risk of developing or dying from CHD. Lack of sleep doesn’t necessarily cause heart disease but it really increases the risk factors for heart disease.

Simple habit changing tips:

Substituting healthy habits for unhealthy ones rewards us with good health and better quality of life. Still many find it difficult to incorporate healthy habits in their life as sooner or later they revert back to unhealthy lifestyle, thereby losing all the beneficial effects they had. Like any other health habit, heart healthy habits need to be followed throughout life.

The following tips will help us to incorporate heart healthy habits in life:

• One has to make a decision and do conscious efforts to stick to the commitment.

• One has to discover triggers and obstacles that need to be overcome otherwise one will set oneself up for failure.

• One should devise a plan and review it from time to time.

• One should employ visualizations and affirmations, relating to habits to be changed because they program the subconscious with the right mindset for establishing a new habit.

• By enlisting the support of family and friends, we can steer away the temptation that may thwart our efforts.

• One should find ways to reward oneself because they make us feel good, even if it’s just temporarily. They will help keeping us motivated to stay on the track.

The bottom line:

Our awareness about the heart disease as number one cause of death worldwide has risen. Nevertheless, many still lack the adequate knowledge of those heart healthy habits that need to be incorporated to keep our ticker strong. What’s more, though many do make efforts to adopt them, they fail to continue with them and are thus unable to derive benefits from them.

Four Vital Tips For Healthy Living

These days, there is a major emphasis on “losing weight” and “shedding those extra pounds,” with everything from television commercials to online advertising trying to sell you on the “latest and greatest” products to help you in these areas; one thing that many people fail to realize, however, is that weight is rarely the whole issue. More often than not, the bigger issue these individuals with weight loss goals are dealing with is one of health, as they are simply not as healthy as they ought to be, and are not living the healthy lifestyle they ought to be living; as such, here is a look at four vital tips that will help you do more than just lose weight fast, but will also help you lead a happier, healthier life as well!

Understand eating: There is more to being healthy and losing weight than just making sure to eat less (in fact, forcing yourself to simply eat less is almost never going to help you the way you would imagine it would!), as it is far more important to actually understand how your body interacts with various foods; once you begin to understand the ways in which vegetables and lean meats are good for your body, and start to also recognize exactly why breads and refined sugars can be so harmful, you will be able to eat until you are full – as long as you are eating the right foods for health and weight loss!

Forget exercise: One of the big mistakes people make when trying to be more healthy is that they make exercise a chore, which then turns it into something they are not able to do as often as they should; instead of making this mistake, you should realize that the real key to staying healthy is not exercise, so to speak, but is simply “remaining active.” As long as you are keeping your body active on a daily basis (even if this is simply by going for a walk, or by playing rec league sports), this will be far more fun than “exercise,” and will be just as effective!

Cut the stress: Believe it or not, stress will have a huge impact on your health and your weight; the more stressed you allow yourself to be, the more you are going to find you are struggling with weight issues and with health issues – so start learning how you can manage your stress, and watch as the superior health and weight loss results start to come your way at last!

Get your rest: And of course, one of the best ways of all to keep a healthy body and to keep weight under control is to make sure you are getting enough rest each day, and are getting enough sleep each night; understand, of course, that each individual’s body is different, and has different needs when it comes to sleep, but if you take the time to discern how much sleep you require yourself, and make sure you get this amount each night, this will pay huge dividends in the long run in relation to both your health and your weight!

Health Tips – Nipping Anxiety in the Bud

In modern society, where competitiveness is the name of the game, stress and anxiety have become part and parcel of everyday life. But there may come a time when anxiety threatens to take over our lives and pull us into the abyss of darkness. This is often a frightening path of no return, especially when we let ourselves snap. Recovery or even management of one’s condition becomes arduous.

Luckily, there are ways to stop yourself from going down the path of no return. When anxiety builds up in your system, there are some ways to stop yourself from going over the edge. These are probably not new to many but they are really effective for reducing anxiety.

1. Take a break – Stop what you are doing and just go someone else or do something else. It can be anything, such as reading a book, calling up a friend or neighbor or just grabbing a bite.

2. Take a deep breath – Breathing exercises usually work for me and many of my friends as they help one relax and have a calming effect. Take slow breaths and clear your mind of the issue making you anxious. This seems to work for some people who go for auditions or tests as well.

3. Exercise – Go for a run. Get your muscles working. It’s healthy and good for your body and will help reduce the tension you are feeling. Just don’t overdo it.

4. Have a bath – A good way to relax to cool yourself down with water by taking a nice long bath. Let the water run over your body and wash away the anxiety as well. This is a technique which many people have told me works for them.

5. Listen to some music (or pray) – Have you heard that music heals the soul? Turn on some nice soothing music to calm your nerves and take you into another realm. I wouldn’t go for rock music but if that’s what works for you, why not? If you’re religious, you can also pray!

Of course, I understand that everyone is different and while some tips will work for some, they may not work for others. So do try to understand what helps you and practice those techniques whenever you start to feel anxious.

Don’t wait till you snap, nip anxiety in the bud!