Saturday November 16, 2019

4 Ways to Beat the Risk of Heart Attack in your 30s

Unhealthy eating habits and sedentary lifestyle are some major factors why men and women are at the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases early on in life

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A healthy diet can help you to counter heart related diseases
A healthy diet can help you to counter heart related diseases

Jan 10, 2017: According to the WHO, over 17.3 million people die every year from the heart attack and stroke. And if we look at the Indian context, things don’t look bright either. Unhealthy eating habits and sedentary lifestyle are some major factors why men and women are at the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases early on in life.

At an event to commemorate the ‘World Heart Day’, several health experts across the country stated that there are several instances of individuals in the late 20s and early 30s being admitted to hospitals for the treatment of ailments related to the heart. If this trend continues, then the country would transform into the ‘Heart Disease Capital’ of the world in the near future. Heart problems are critical, and the risk can be averted by resorting to the healthy lifestyle.

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Say No to Smoking

If you are a smoker, it’s time to ditch the habit. It is a well-established fact that cigarette smoking is linked to lung cancer and respiratory tract disorders. But, did you know that this habit can also put you at the risk of heart diseases? Here’s how cigarette smoking can lead to heart diseases –

  • Deprives heart from receiving enough oxygen
  • Shoots up the blood pressure
  • Increases heart rate
  • Causes clots in the blood which can cause heart attack and stroke
  • Damages blood vessels of the heart

While most people are aware of the hazardous effects of smoking, giving up on this habit is not easy. One has to stay determined. You could also consult a doctor or physician for medications or techniques to fight the urge to smoke. Try using nicotine gums and patches, which have proved to be effective for other people.

Stay away from Junk Food

Those with a family history of coronary heart diseases should particularly be careful about what they eat. Consuming trans-fat and sodium-laden food can build up fat deposits in the coronary arteries that can further lead to heart failure and even stroke. Therefore, bid adieu to pre-packaged convenience food and say hello to the following dietary choices that promote good health:

  • Increase the intake of dietary fiber like whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, etc.
  • Have a generous portion of fruits and vegetables, especially those with a low glycemic index like apples, cherries, tomatoes, lettuce, cauliflower, bell pepper, bottle gourd, etc.
  • Include supplements like fish oil and Omega fatty acids which help control cholesterol and high blood pressure.
  • Consume enough water. Health experts point out that consuming an adequate amount of water per day can significantly reduce the risk of heart diseases. Studies have also indicated that not drinking enough water can lead to dehydration, thereby elevating the risk of heart diseases, such as, whole blood viscosity, plasma viscosity, hematocrit and fibrinogen. Therefore, invest in a good water purifier, such as a Kent water filter that gives out pure drinking water without leaching out essential natural minerals. This way you will have access to clean and fresh drinking water always.

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Don’t be a Couch Potato

For the optimal cardiovascular health, the American Heart Association recommends

  • 30 minutes of a moderate aerobic workout for five days a week or 25 minutes of a high-intensity aerobic exercise for at least three days in a week is essential.
  • Muscle or strength training for a minimum of 2 days in a week is also advantageous for weight loss along with many health benefits.

Therefore, put on your workout gear and chalk out a fitness goal. People who are over-weight should start with a moderate workout, and slowly transcend to a more vigorous routine. Group classes for aerobics and Zumba are fun to attend, and will also keep you motivated. Look out for unique exercise options in your neighbourhood. These days, several social apps will connect you with people who are on a similar mission for good health. It’s always better to work out with a buddy than alone. You can also consider joining a running group. It is a great way to reach your fitness goal and strike new bonds of friendship, at the same time.

Correct your Sleep Cycle

Not many people realize, but there is a strong correlation between the lack of sleep and an increased risk of heart diseases. Sleeping for less than six or seven hours a day is not good for heart health.

  • The shorter spell of sleep shoots up the blood pressure and increases the danger of heart attack and stroke
  • Sleep deprivation can also lead to the increased heart rate.

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Whether for a healthy heart or better concentration, maintaining the sleep hygiene is quite important. In the age of the internet and smartphones, people tend to stay awake for long hours. As a result, they are unable to have the required amount of sleep at night. The key is to shut all distractions, such as, laptops, phones, TV, etc. few hours before the sleep time. If you are required to get up at a certain time every morning, clock your sleep time accordingly.

Wishing for good health is not enough. You need to take a good care of yourself to enjoy the optimal health not just in your younger days but throughout.

Next Story

Listen To Music To Reduce Cardiac Stress While Driving

Listening to music while driving can reduce cardiac stress

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Reducing stress
Researchers found that listening to music while driving reduces cardiac stress. Pixabay

Stress while driving is a risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease and sudden cardiac complications such as heart attack, but now researchers have found that listening to music while driving can reduce cardiac stress.

“We found that cardiac stress in the participants in our experiment was reduced by listening to music while they were driving,” said study lead author Vitor Engracia Valenti, Professor at Sao Paulo State University in Brazil.

For the study, published in the journal Complementary Therapies in Medicine, researchers analysed the effects of music on cardiac stress in five women between the ages of 18 and 23.

“We opted to assess women who were not habitual drivers because people who drive frequently and have had a license for a long time are better adapted to stressful situations in traffic,” Valenti explained.

The volunteers were assessed on two days, in different situations and in a random order.

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Researchers analysed the effects of music on cardiac stress in five women between the ages of 18 and 23. Pixabay

On one day, they drove for 20 minutes at rush hour (5:30-6:30 pm) along a three km route in a busy district of Marilia, a medium-sized city in the northwest of Sao Paulo, without listening to music.

On the other day, the volunteers drove the same route at the same time of day but listened to instrumental music on a CD player coupled to the car radio.

The use of earbuds or headphones while driving is a traffic offense.

“To increase the degree of traffic stress, we asked them to drive a car they did not own. Driving their own car might help,” Valenti said.

The level of cardiac stress was estimated by measuring heart rate variability using a heart rate monitor attached to the participant’s chest.

Defined as fluctuations in the intervals between consecutive heart beats, heart rate variability is influenced by the autonomic nervous system.

The more active the sympathetic nervous system, the faster the heart beats, while the parasympathetic nervous system tends to slow it down.

“Elevated sympathetic nervous system activity reduces heart rate variability, whereas more intense parasympathetic nervous system activity increases it,” Valenti said.

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The level of cardiac stress was estimated by measuring heart rate variability using a heart rate monitor attached to the participant’s chest. Pixabay

Analysis showed a reduction in heart rate variability in the volunteers who drove without music, indicating a lower level of parasympathetic nervous system activity but sympathetic nervous system activation.

Conversely, heart rate variability increased in the drivers who listened to music, indicating a higher level of parasympathetic nervous system activity and a reduction in sympathetic nervous system activity.

However, the sample size used in the study was too small but significant.

“Listening to music attenuated the moderate stress overload the volunteers experienced as they drove,” Valenti said.

Also Read- Here’s Why Women Should Not Dine After 6 PM

“Listening to music could be such a preventive measure in favour of cardiovascular health in situations of intense stress such as driving during rush hour,” he said. (IANS)