The heart is an important human organ which pumps blood throughout the body. It supplies oxygen and nutrients to the tissues and removes carbon dioxide and nitrogenous wastes from the body. The heart beats approximately about seventy-two times per minute of our lives.
There are several ways to maintain a healthy heart:-
- Quit smoking
- Smoking is the leading cause of coronary heart disease. A year after quitting, the risk of a heart attack falls to about half of that of a smoker.
- Get active
- Regular exercise reduces the risk of heart disease. 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity is recommended.
- Manage weight
- Being overweight can increase the risk of heart disease. A balanced diet consists of at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables per day, is low in fat and sugar and at least 30 g of fibre which could include wholegrains.
- Cut down on saturated fat
- Eating too many foods which are high in saturated fat can raise the level of cholesterol in the blood which increases the risk of heart disease. It is advised to opt for leaner cuts of meat and lower fat dairy products such as 1% fat milk over whole milk.
- Limit the use of
- To maintain healthy blood pressure, it is recommended that one avoids adding salt to meals. Adults should consume less than a teaspoon of salt per day. High blood pressure is the likely cause of heart attacks and strokes.
- Consume less
- Alcohol contains calories which can add weight gain. Also, regular and/or excessive drinking adds risks to a person’s heart health.
When we think about our heart, we also think our feelings and emotions. Taking care of our physical health is just as important as our emotional health and regular exercise, limiting stressors and self-care are all critical to achieving this.
In the month most associated with love and matters of the heart, how are you caring for yours?
Jolene King is Principal Consultant of 246 King Consulting (http://246king.com). She is a trained Occupational Psychologist, experienced Human Resources professional, is a qualified Mental Health First Aider and is trained in mental health conditions and exercise, health and nutrition. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.