Heart diseases could also be known as a silent killer as it’s usually asymptomatic early in diagnosis. According to data from the World Health Organization, over half a million Nigerians died from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in 2012, and 1 out of every 5 Nigerian adults over the age of 30 will likely die prematurely from NCDs, including cardiovascular diseases. In terms of risk factors for heart disease, 35% of Nigerian adults had elevated blood pressures in 2008, another 6.5%, mostly women, were obese- as reported by Nigeria health watch. In recent times heart and blood vessel diseases are ravaging our society and causing the death of our loved ones. Preventing and reducing your risk for heart disease is associated with some lifestyle changes and as such the Six Golden Rules will help reduce your risk for heart diseases.
Rule 1- Exercise regularly
The enormous benefit of regular exercise includes preventing heart and blood vessel diseases. Regular exercise keeps blood vessels in good tone, preventing hardening of the arteries which is the most common reason for a heart disease especially coronary heart disease. Exercise helps strengthen the heart muscles making the heart function with ease. Toxins are flushed out during exercise making you rid off foreign chemicals that may be harmful to the body.
Rule 2-Watch Your Diet
Diet plays a major role in the health of your heart and blood vessels. Your body doesn’t need too much food, it utilizes what it needs and stores the remainder as fat, so why eat large quantities? Too much food, too much fat in the body and eating the same kind of food daily could lead to atherosclerosis the main culprit for coronary heart disease. Eating an unhealthy diet that contains trans-fat will definitely lead to clogging of your blood vessels which is a potential risk for atherosclerosis. Reducing your portion, eating lots of fruits and vegetable, eating heart-healthy oils such as omega3 fatty acid found in mackerel, salmon, sardine fish can help prevent heart diseases.
Rule 3-Check your cholesterol level
A Periodic check of your cholesterol level is important. When there is too much cholesterol(fatty substances ) in your blood, it builds up and forms plaque that causes hardening of your blood vessel which could, in turn, lead to coronary heart disease. According to national heart blood and lung Institute (NIH)- high cholesterol is 240mg/dl and above, 200-239mg/dl borderline high, 200mg/dl desirable. Eating foods that contain less cholesterol is advised.
Rule 4-Control your weight
Obesity comes with a lot of health challenges including heart and blood vessel diseases. Whether you inherited a bad gene or you are stuck with your junk food excess fat should be controlled. You should see a doctor if you have a health condition that encourages weight gain. The body stores excess calories as fat, so when you eat more than the body needs you gain weight. To control your body weight you need to exercise daily and eat healthily.
Rule 5-Avoid Smoking
smoking is a major contributor to cardiovascular diseases and lung cancer amongst others. Studies have shown that heavy smokers are at risk of dying earlier than they should. Plaques form in the blood vessels as a result of smoking and these plaques over time restricts oxygen-rich blood flow and consequently, atherosclerosis develops which leads to heart disease. Avoid smoking completely it causes more harm than you can imagine.
Rule 6-Watch your blood pressure
High blood pressure can bring about hypertensive heart disease in which the heart tries to maintain blood pressure higher than normal over time it becomes overworked, tired and inefficient. In other to prevent hypertensive heart disease, high blood pressure should be prevented or controlled. Monitoring your blood pressure levels is a good way to find out if you have a high blood pressure. Regular exercise and eating clean is a good way to maintain normal blood pressure levels.
Follow these Rules, then you would have a happy heart.
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