Preventing heart disease: 4 tips to strengthen the heart

Lifestyle has a significant impact on disease – changing your habits and living healthier will prevent cardiovascular disease.

dr Girish Godbole, a cardiologist from India, told the ‘Economic Times’ which measures are useful for a healthier life.

4 tips to strengthen your heart:

1. Eat healthy

Our eating habits are influenced by several factors, but for most of them it is mainly the taste that decides.

On the other hand, people rarely pay attention to the nutritional value of the food that is put on the table.

“An unhealthy diet is one of the most common determinants of disease,” explains Godbole. Therefore, the health benefits that can be achieved through a change in diet are considerable.

Here are a few simple diet rules the doctor says you can do to improve your heart health.

  • Cut down on sugary drinks and fruit juices, opt for water or unsweetened juices instead

  • Swap out sweet, sugary treats for fresh fruit

  • Aim to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables a day

  • Make sure to keep the amount of alcohol you drink to a minimum (it’s best to stay within recommended guidelines)

  • Avoid processed and pre-packaged foods – these are often loaded with salt, sugar and fat

  • Prepare a healthy school or work lunch the day before that you can take away

2. At least 150 minutes of exercise per week

A lack of physical activity is a major risk factor for the development of many diseases.

“This fact has been known for thousands of years,” Godbole points out. “Modern science has proven that a lack of regular physical activity is as bad for your health as diabetes, and worse than being overweight, obese or having high cholesterol.”

Nevertheless, many people move too little and thus forgo the health benefits that sport and exercise bring with them.

“Aerobic exercise has a strong positive impact on mortality, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, overweight and obesity, high cholesterol, dementia, musculoskeletal strength and various forms of cancer,” explains the cardiologist.

The expert recommends moderately intense aerobic training of between 150 and 300 minutes per week, i.e. 30 to 45 minutes per day, for all age groups.

Instead of daily training, 75-150 minutes of intensive physical activity per week is also possible. “Also, do major muscle group strengthening twice a week,” says Godbole.

In addition, there are simple steps you can take during any normal day to become more active.

  • Reduce the time you sit at work and at home
  • Take every opportunity to be more active: for example, take the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator, or walk or bike to work
  • Do sports with friends and family to motivate each other and make sports more fun
  • Use an exercise app if it helps you stay on track

3. Declare war on tobacco

“Tobacco use is the second leading cause of death in the world,” said Godbole. “Whatever your dose, tobacco kills.”

The bad thing about it: Tobacco smoking not only affects the smoker, but is also a danger for other people who inhale the secondary smoke and thus smoke passively.

Here are some tips from the cardiologist to declare war on the fags

  • Quitting smoking is the best thing you can do to improve your heart health
  • Within two years of quitting, the risk of cardiovascular disease is significantly reduced. Within 15 years, the risk is back to the same level as that of a non-smoker
  • When you quit (or don’t even start) you’re not only improving your health, you’re also improving the health of those around you

4. Pass on your knowledge

Healthy habits can be contagious to others. Therefore, set a good example and motivate the people around you to also live healthier lives.

“Every beating heart is important – yours and that of everyone around you,” emphasizes the cardiologist. He therefore advises that you pass on your knowledge and tell others about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

“Heart health is for everyone. Therefore, one should feel committed to the topic. It’s phenomenal how rewarding it can be,” says Godbole.

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