Cardiovascular diseases are one of the leading killing diseases in the world. It causes one of every three deaths. The reason behind strokes and heart attacks are generally the presence of certain risk factors like unhealthy diet and obesity, tobacco use, use of alcohol, hypertension, physical inactivity, high level of cholesterol and diabetes. As dangerous as it sounds, you can always take precautions like getting medical insurance from South Africa’s health insurance providers. You must also take good care of your heart and you can do that by following a few practical steps –
Maintain A Diet Which Is Healthy For Your Heart
To have a heart-healthy diet, you have to consume a combination of different foods including whole grains, vegetables, legumes, fruits, and nuts. Stop eating salty meats like bacon, ham, sausage, tocino and hotdog and also cut down on salty food like dried fish. Quit seasoning your food with high-sodium condiments like fish sauce, ketchup, soy sauce, and bagoong. Instead, use vinegar and calamansi juice. You should also avoid consuming processed, canned and fast food. Replace your sweetened snacks like cookies and doughnuts with fresh fruits. Also, stop drinking sweetened beverage sodas and juice when you are thirsty and just go for water.
Increase Your Regular Physical Activity
You can improve your blood pressure and level of cholesterol by indulging yourself more into physical activity. You do not need to go very hard if you do not have the energy at the beginning. It can just be normal daily activities and you can increase intensity, frequency and duration gradually. Adults should perform at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity in a week. It may include walking, dancing, gardening, doing household chores, and climbing stairs.
Lose Weight If You Are Overweight
If your body mass index (BMI) is of 25 or above, then you are overweight and obese. On the other hand, adiposity or central obesity means a high waist circumference of over 80 cm for females and 90 cm for males. If your waist circumference is high, then you have more intra-abdominal fat which indicates a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease. To lose weight, reduce 500 kilocalories from your daily diet. It will help you to lose almost one kilogram in a week.
Check Your Blood Pressure And Blood Sugar Regularly
A great way to maintain your heart health is by checking your blood pressure and blood sugar regularly. You need to keep in mind that it is not always important that you can see the symptoms of having high blood pressure and it can hurt your heart. When you go for the regular check-up, also make sure to talk about your behavioural risks, if there is any, such as physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, or use of alcohol or tobacco.
It makes it easy for health workers to help you in planning the lifestyle modifications you need to take better care of your heart. If you have already been diagnosed with diabetes or hypertension, you need to set your health targets and take medicines regularly. Now, regular check-ups can be expensive for you. This is when medical insurance providers in South Africa come to use. They can offer you the perfect medical care plan so you can protect your family.
Stop Consumption Of Alcohol
Alcohol consumption can cause over two hundred diseases and injury conditions. Cardiovascular diseases are also one of them. There is no safe level for drinking alcohol. So, if you want to protect your heart, you should stop consuming alcohol altogether.
Stop Using Tobacco
Just like alcohol, the use of tobacco and exposure to second-hand smoke can cause harm to your heart. If you consider the long-term health benefits, then quitting tobacco is the best thing you can do for your heart, and it also increases the life span up to ten years. After one year of quitting, the risk of heart disease is decreased to about half compared to a smoker. After fifteen years of quitting, your risk of heart disease will be the same as a non-smoker.
Get Enough Rest Through Sleep
The risk of developing cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease is higher if you do not sleep enough, regardless of age, weight, exercise, and smoking habits. If you sleep too little, then it can change your body function and can also affect your blood pressure. However, you have to be careful about sleeping too much as well because it can also impact heart health negatively. To support better heart health, make sure you sleep seven to nine hours every night.
Due to our busy lives, we cannot escape being stressed. However, although it cannot be avoided entirely, you can still make attempts to manage stress. You may practice deep breathing or meditate daily for some time. Doing this each day helps in stress relief and offers you better heart health.
You never know when you experience heart disease, so, it is always better to be prepared. So, contact the medical insurance providers in South Africa and get your plan if you still do not have one.