Fri | Sep 24, 2021

Guard your heart

Published:Wednesday | February 24, 2021 | 12:11 AM

In a person who lives to 70, their heart will pump about 2.5 billion times. In that same time, a person will have lived just 2.2 billion seconds. Your heart is always busy.

Heart failure treatment depends on the type, your symptoms, age, overall health and more. Understanding the issues and taking smart steps to improve heart health can help your heart do its job so you can lead your best and fullest life.

Heart disease is the number one cause of death worldwide, and it’s mostly preventable by changing your lifestyle and managing risk factors. Here are seven ways you can prevent becoming a statistic.

GET MOVING:

Your heart is a muscle and, as with any muscle, exercise is what strengthens it. The first step is to determine your target heart rate, then find an activity you enjoy and can stick with for the long run.

QUIT SMOKING:

Quitting smoking is tough. But you know that it is important to quit, and one of the biggest reasons is that it is linked to heart disease.

LOSE WEIGHT:

Losing weight is more than just diet and exercise. It’s a personal journey that involves finding what you like and what works for you.

EAT HEART-HEALTHY FOODS:

Salmon and guacamole are loaded with healthy fats that are good for the heart. Do not forget the chocolate (in moderation). Chocolate and wine contribute to heart health. Alcohol and cocoa, a key ingredient in chocolate, have antioxidants that have been shown to increase good cholesterol, lower bad cholesterol and improve blood clotting function.

DO NOT OVEREAT:

Although this advice primarily applies during the holidays, when deaths from heart attacks spike, thanks to copious amounts of food and temptation, it is valid year round. Eating a lot of food at once leads to blood shifting from the heart to the digestive system, faster and irregular heart rhythms, which can lead to heart attack or heart failure.

DO NOT STRESS: There are more than 1,400 biochemical responses to stress, including a rise in blood pressure and a faster heart rate. If you do not manage your stress, it can create more stress and trap you in a stress cycle.

Source: UCLA Medicine