The most important organ that provides the vital activity of the human body – the heart – suffers from a variety of diseases, which, along with brain pathologies, are the main cause of death in the world. The prerequisites for the development of these diseases are most often unhealthy habits and improper lifestyle. However, there are simple rules, following which will help protect the heart and maintain its health.
Attention to symptoms and regular checkups
Every day in the world 400 people die from a cardiovascular attack. In contrast to the belief that until recently, the deaths for this reason mainly concern men (smokers who are overweight, have little movement), more than half of them are victims of women of all ages. Experts explain this increase in female mortality from cardiovascular diseases by the high rate of life, stress and other factors that do not distinguish the existence of a modern woman from men. Therefore, knowing how to protect the heart is important for both genders.
In addition to external factors that negatively affect the cardiovascular system, there are also internal factors: hereditary predisposition, diabetes, arterial hypertension, and elevated cholesterol. The presence of these factors requires regular examinations of the state of the heart and blood vessels. A home form of control should be a daily measurement of blood pressure, and in diabetes – regular monitoring of sugar levels.
Careful attention to the disruption of the heart. The following symptoms should be alarming:
- Severe pain in the chest (both during exercise and at rest), lasting more than 10 minutes.
- Pain extending to the neck, shoulders and upper back.
- Sudden causeless severe fatigue.
- Abdominal discomfort, heartburn, nausea, vomiting.
- Vertigo, panic condition.
These symptoms indicate serious problems and the need for urgent medical care.
Proper nutrition: a diet for the heart
Proper nutrition is one of the fundamental factors for maintaining health, including heart health. Its principles are well known: food must be complete, balanced, eliminating harmful products. Cardiologists consider the diet of the Mediterranean countries to be the most suitable for the heart and blood vessels, where the death rate from heart attack is much lower than in other regions of the world.
This diet suggests:
- Consumption of large quantities of fresh vegetables and fruits, fish, olive oil and oilseeds, whole grains.
- Moderate consumption of cheese, red meat and wine.
- Restriction in the diet of butter, sour cream, fatty cheese, sausages, pastry and sweets.
- The ban on industrial foods due to their oversaturation with salt, sugar and fat, as well as due to the presence in their composition of various additives.
Eating chocolate is good for the heart, but only in the amount of one or two squares per day. It is better to choose dark chocolate with a high content of cocoa, since it is this product that has substances that are beneficial to the cardiovascular system.
Physical exercise and sports
The heart is a muscle, therefore, like other muscles, it needs training. The more trained the heart, the better it works. Sedentary lifestyle is not helpful to this body. At the same time, extreme efforts, too much physical exertion can also be harmful. Moderate intensity corresponding to age and the regularity of physical exercises are two main rules for practicing how to maintain the normal functioning of the cardiovascular system.
The most useful form of training is walking. Experts have found that just three hours a week of fast walking increases the productivity of the heart by 12%. It is better to devote such walks by the hour three times a week or 30 minutes every day. Benefit will be brought also by such kinds of physical activity, as Nordic walking, jogging, swimming, fitness, cycling. Increase the intensity of training is necessary gradually, carefully considering the reactions of the body. Indispensable conditions for sports should be the absence of unpleasant symptoms (muscle pain, shortness of breath, etc.), well-being and enjoyment.
Healthy sleep and lack of stress
Lack of sleep and stress provoke irregularities in the work of the heart and blood vessels, increasing the risk of heart attacks. An adult needs seven to eight hours of night rest. If for some reason this rule is violated, then it would be correct to lie down for 15-20 minutes during the day. A short siesta, however, is also useful for those whose night rest is not disturbed. Daytime sleep restores strength, reduces the level of stress hormones and protects against cardiovascular diseases.
The lack of a full night’s sleep is one of the causes of stress, which in turn is considered one of the main risk factors for heart attacks and strokes. In the course of research, American scientists found out that the cardiovascular system of a person in constant stress experiences the same negative effect as smoking 5 cigarettes a day. Therefore, prolonged stress or a strong sudden shock of 27% increase the risk of heart attack.
There are many recommendations for dealing with stress. Here are some of them:
- Physical activity is an effective means of relieving stress. Movement and stress contribute to the development of substances in the body that elevate mood and reduce stress. For this purpose, both occupations in the gym or in the open air, as well as any homework or walks are useful.
- Another great remedy for stress is a hobby. Favorite activity can distract from evil thoughts, calm, relieve tension and lift your mood.
- Communication with nature, pets and nice people will help in the fight against stress. Those who cause negative emotions should be avoided.
- The everyday stress of everyday work or difficult relationships can take off a bright event (travel, party, meeting with friends, going to a concert or a football match).
It is possible to get rid of long-term stress by carefully analyzing the causes that cause it, and trying to eliminate them: to give up something, change something in your behavior or attitude towards the surrounding reality, organize your life differently, make it calmer and measured.
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