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7 Key Steps To Boost Your Heart Health

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Get important info on high blood Pressure

Your heart is literally your body's engine room and keeps working every minute, every second of your life. It is one of nature's wonders that this organ will work endlessly, pumping blood through the body, sometimes for over 100 years.

The heart can however get weakened or diseased. A weakening of the heart is clearly a major deterioration in the health condition of the body. If the heart fails to function properly, the pumping of blood will be impaired and body cells will be denied the resources they need to stay alife and perform optimally. That's why you need to jealously protect your heart. These 7 steps will help you keep your heart in top shape, and if it's already weakened, to give it some boost.

  1. Keep Your Blood Pressure In Check
    High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease. Uncontrolled high blood pressure is damaging to the key organs of the body, including the heart and could result in heart attack, stroke or cardiac arrest. You therefore need to know a bit about high blood pressure, take steps to monitor your blood pressure level and, if you have high blood pressure, ensure you take urgent steps to get it controlled. What you may not know is that a lot of people are going about without realising that they run elevated blood pressure, that is, blood pressure that is beyond the normal range. This is because high blood pressure may not manifest in noticeable symptoms, which is why it is nicknamed 'the silent killer'. The result is that people often drop dead without any prior indication of illhealth, though high blood pressure had quietly done the damage over time. Now that you know, be wise and take steps to protect your heart. Read more about high blood pressure and how you can rein it in, in this article. One important step you can take is to keep a home-use blood pressure monitor to check you blood pressure regularly and keep a tab on it. You may find this article on how to choose the right home blood pressure monitor useful. And this also this article offering tips on how to get accurate readings from your blood pressure monitor.
  2. Get Your Blood Sugar Level Under Control
    There are various health problems where high blood glucose level is implicated, but in focus here is its potential to cause problems for your heart. High sugar levels can lead to obesity, type 2 diabetes and eventually heart disease. High blood glucose level will result in high insulin level which is also not good for your health.

    Strive for a normal fasting blood sugar level (blood sugar level after about 12 hours of being completely off food), which is in the range 70 - 100mm/dl. Fasting blood sugar in excess of 125mg/dl will be categorised as diabetic while between 100 and 125 is pre-diabetic. Here again, monitoring is the key, since timely action will improve your chance of effective control. Keeping a bloodglucose monitoring meter at home and learning to run a check by yourself will be a sensible way to take charge of your heath. Some of the popular meters include the Accu-Check range, Freestyle, One Touch Ultra and Sure Step.
  3. Drive Down Your Cholesterol Level
    Cholesterol is also strongly implicated in heart problems. Accumulated deposits of cholesterol on the artery walls cause the formation of a hard, thick substance called cholesterol plaque. With further thickening over time, the arteries get narrowed. An eventual rupture will cause a blood clot which totally blocks the artery, leading to heart attack or stroke.

    The accumulation of cholesterol plaque results from Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, also called 'bad' cholesterol. In contrast, the High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (called 'good' cholesterol) works to prevent plaque by extracting cholesterol from the artery walls and disposing of it via the liver. Your primary goal is to achieve a low LDL cholesterol level and to reduce the Total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol ratio (arrived at by dividing total cholesterol by HDL cholesterol). Dietary and lifestyle changes will be a good step forward, while medication may be used if your doctor finds this necessary. Saturated fat is a major culprit and you need to avoid foods that are high in saturated fat: eggs, meat, diary and vegetable oils like coconut oil, palm oil, etc. A cholesterol measurement meter will help you to track your level of cholesterol.
  4. Exercise And Be Active
    Your health and longevity will benefit immensely from an active lifestyle, but your heart, in particular, will thank you for working it up. A sedentary lifestyle is a killer, so if your work keeps you in one place, make effort to create opportunities to stretch out. More importantly, regular aerobic exercises are recommended by experts. Duration could be 30 minutes or more and for up to 4 days in the week. Any of cycling, swimming, jogging or even a brisk walk would be a good exercise regimen. A step counter/pedometer will help your build a walking regimen which is great for health. Keeping some exercise gadgets like treadmills, exercise bikes, etc, at home will help you maintain a regular exercise routine since you can exercise at any time. A health check with your doctor is recommended before an exercise programme is launched. And it will help to keep such safety devices like a Portable EGC Monitor and a Heart Rate Monitor.
  5. Deal With Any Weight Problem
    You must work down your weight to a level that is good for your health and, in particular, your heart. The body mass index(BMI) measures your body fat ratio, using the relationship between weight and height and is a good indicator of your risk of obesity. Increasing BMI will tend towards obesity, meaning an undue burden on your heart. What is the right BMI for you? An index of 18.5 - 25 is considered safe, while above this begins to tend towards overweight. Over 30 is characterised as obesity while above 40 becomes morbid obesity. How do you measure body mass index? A more comprehensive approach, however, is to track your body fat percentage, body mass index and body weight as critical variables for fitness and good health. Fortunately, you don't need to go to a hospital to measure these health parameters. no complicated process is involved either, as you can easily measure all three factors using available home-use gadgets like the Omron Body Composition Monitor BF500 or others in the Omron range.
  6. Go On A Heart-Friendly Diet
    Want a healthy heart? Feed it a healthy diet. Salt is implicated in high blood pressure, so you don't want to load your system with salt, especially commercial salt. Use salt sparingly. Increased potassium intake will also help to neutralise the impact of salt. A high nutrition, low calorie content diet will provide nourishment but maintain a low BMI. If you avoid saturated fats and go for unsaturated fats, you will be achieving the right level and balance of cholesterol and reducing the risk of cholesterol plaques which can choke your arteries. Whole, natural foods like lean proteins, dietary fibre, fruits, vegetables and nuts are what you need and should be eating. The B-vitamins and omega-3 are also good for your heart. The bottom-line: not everything you eat is good for the heart, so identify what to eat and what to shun the killers.
  7. You Need A Heart-Healthy Lifestyle
    Social habits may also do injury to your heart. A lot of alcohol is not good for health, including your heart, so quit or moderate the booze. Heavy smoking will retard your health, so puffing should also be cut down or off. Cultivate a positive attitude and go after your pursuits with a more relaxed approach. Nothing says you can't achieve great results unless you're uptight. Overall, be conscious that what you do or fail to do may have serious implications for your heart.

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