6 ways to improve your chances of beating heart disease

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in developed countries. This is increasingly becoming the case in developing countries where lifestyles have changed to become more western.

According to a recent study in a medical journal, you can reduce your chances of having heart disease or dying from heart disease if you do these six simple things.

Don’t smoke, or stop smoking

Smoking affects not only your lungs and your skin but your heart as well. The chemicals inhaled from smoking cause physical damage to the heart and blood vessels. It promotes the narrowing of the blood vessels supplying your heart, eventually leading to heart disease.

If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you do smoke, ask for help to quit.

Keep your BMI within the recommended level

BMI – Body mass index looks at your height and weight to measure how much body fat you have. The recommended optimal BMI is 18.5 to 24.9,

Exercise, even just 2.5 hours a week

Exercise of at least  moderate intensity has been shown to reduce risk of heart disease. Suitable exercises would include: walking at a moderate or brisk pace, backpacking, hiking, bicycling, doing yoga, boxing, tennis or almost any team sport.

Eat a healthy diet

The recommended daily calories for an active person is about 2,200 calories a day. This enables you and maintain your weight and still be considered healthy.

If you have a less actove lifestyle you would have to reduce the number of calories you take in otherwise it just gets turned into fat.

You should also eat a balance of food groups particularly fruit and vegetables, It is also important to keep sugar to a minimum.

Avoid being sedentary – Watching television – for long periods

Recommended optimal television consumption is estimated at about seven hours a week or less. Studies have found that people who watch more than seven hours of TV tend to sleep less and weigh more. Furthermore, there is suggestion that sitting for these long periods disrupts your metabolism

Avoid alcohol or drink in moderation

Alcohol – red wine in particular – has been shown to be beneficial to the heart. The key, of course, is to be moderate about it. Moderation being defined as about one standard drink a day.

Even though red wine may be beneficial, the official recommendation however is to not commence drinking alcohol on the basis of its benefit to the heart as alcohol does have many deleterious effects, including the extra amount of ‘useless’ calories it gives you

Start today to implement the above changes no matter what age you are. If you’re able to implement just one of the 6 habits, you will improve your chance of avoiding heart disease.

Follow this blog for more information on how to improve your health.

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