How to keep your heart healthy and ticking
Updated: May 1
Your heart is like the engine of any mechanical machine, for example, your car, your refrigerator, or your motorcycle. And to keep this engine, you have to keep it well-oiled and do proper maintenance.
Similarly, the engine of your body, the heart needs to be managed and maintained by doing some things that need your attention.
If the oil in your car or motorcycle engine is not changed regularly, there is a chance that dirt or sludge may accumulate and cause the engine to breakdown.
Imagine your heart as this engine and the blood, which gives nourishment to your body as well as your heart, is full of cholesterol.
If this cholesterol were to go and accumulate in the arteries of your heart, a condition called atherosclerosis, one day this will cause blockage similar to the dirt/ sludge in the engine and your heart will not function well. Atherosclerosis will lead to a build-up of plaques in the coronary arteries, and this can
cause a heart attack and ultimately, you will end up in the hospital or die!
How can you keep your heart healthy?
Having a healthy heart is essential for a long, healthy life. A healthy heart maintains a regular heartbeat, pumps blood adequately and does not suffer from any form of damage or disease. To maintain a healthy heart, it is important to follow a healthy lifestyle. This is how you can do it-
Eat a balanced diet
To keep your heart healthy, it is essential to eat a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains to ensure that your body is getting the nutrients it needs.
It is also important to limit unhealthy fats, sugars and processed foods, as they can increase the risk of heart disease and heart attack.
Regular exercise is also beneficial and helps to keep your heart healthy. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity five days a week.
Exercise should include regular walks, aerobics or yoga. I encourage my patients to start the day on a positive note. Read this article to learn how to- Tips on How to Start your Day
Avoid or give up harmful habits
It is also important to avoid smoking and consume alcohol in moderation. Smoking can damage the walls and lining of your arteries, cause artery spasms or narrow it, leading to a buildup of fatty material that can lead to heart disease.
Too much alcohol can damage the heart muscle and also increase the risk of stroke and high blood pressure.
Have regular checkups or get investigated
Just like you give your vehicle for regular servicing, having regular checkups and getting blood investigations to rule out high cholesterol, uric acid etc., is a very important part of maintaining your heart health.
Additionally, it is important to get regular checkups from your doctor and have appropriate heart investigations and tests.
Checking your blood pressure regularly by using a digital instrument or by your doctor can help you prevent heart disease and stroke.
These might include blood tests, cholesterol checks, electrocardiograms and stress tests.
Following these steps and maintaining your heart health can help prevent heart disease, heart attacks and heart failure.