There are special scales for determining the risks of cardiovascular disease. They include such basic parameters of patients as gender, age, level of systolic blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol, as well as smoking factor. The psychoemotional state, body mass index and the presence of a history of cardiovascular disease in the immediate family are taken into account.
Some heart diseases (for example, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy) are hereditary, but in most cases they appear due to a certain lifestyle. This means that it is you who control the risk factors. You can avoid heart problems, but for this you need to get rid of bad habits and get a couple of good ones.
Here are four ways you can help reduce your risk of developing heart disease.
Yes, the advice is banal, but not stupid at all. Smoking causes cancer (and almost everything), according to some reports – increases the risk of developing senile dementia and, of course, spoils your teeth. But that is not all. Smoking is a risk factor for heart attacks, strokes and severe lower limb ischemia. Tobacco smoke contains about 7 thousand different chemicals, 250 of them are recognized as harmful to human health.
Due to the ingress of these substances into the body, the cells that make up the vessels become inflamed, which leads to the appearance of atherosclerosis (a chronic disease in which cholesterol and other fats are deposited on the inner wall of arteries). In addition, the risk of blood clots increases, as the blood becomes thicker. These negative changes in the body occur just a few months after the start of smoking.
If you think that radical changes are useless, that you can simply reduce the number of cigarettes, you are mistaken. In January of this year, The BMJ (British Medical Journal) published the results of a study: even one cigarette per day significantly increases the risk of developing coronary heart disease and heart attack.
Another option for those who can’t say goodbye to the smoking habit is electronic cigarettes. But here everything is ambiguous: there are very few studies on this topic. But this summer, the results of the work of scientists from the medical school of Boston University were published. Their study confirmed that flavors, which are used in electronic and conventional cigarettes, also harm vascular cells.
Do not forget about physical activity
Train 30 minutes a day, at least 3-4 times a week. This will not only help maintain optimal weight, but also reduce the risk of developing diseases that have a high burden on the heart.
In sports, stability is important, since only regular physical activity reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. According to studies, at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week reduce the likelihood of developing coronary heart disease by 30%, and diabetes – by 27%. Accordingly, to maintain the cardiovascular system in good shape, five workouts per week for 30 minutes will be enough.
It is better to give preference to aerobic loads – walking, cycling, Nordic walking, skiing or ice skating, rowing or swimming. The effect of these loads will be associated with the level of blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol. And if a person wants to include power loads in his plan, then it is better to draw up a training program under the supervision of a sports doctor. It is important not to overload the cardiovascular system – the pulse rate during training should not exceed the value that is displayed by the formula “220 minus age” (usually 64-76% of the estimated maximum load).
Eat healthy food
Try to consume enough calories during the day, but choose healthy foods as your energy source.
Here are some tips to help you make the right choice:
- refuse processed food – instead of white bread, choose whole grain, replace ordinary rice with brown. Minimize pastries and fast food;
- choose “healthy” fats – do not leave the store without avocados, nuts, seeds or olives;
- Add vegetables and fruits to each meal.
Another bad habit, which is better to get rid of is an unhealthy diet. It leads to an increase in blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels, in extreme cases, the development of a prediabetic state is possible. The higher a person’s body mass index, the more susceptible to the development of diabetes mellitus, stroke and heart attack. But in addition to increasing the body mass index, a significant problem is considered to be such an unobvious, at first glance, factor, as salt intake. On average, a person consumes from 9 to 12 grams of salt every day, and to prevent cardiovascular diseases, its amount in the daily diet must be reduced to 3-5 grams. It is better to refuse fast food, smoked meats and pickles, which initially contain a large amount of fat and salt.
Regular drinking also increases the risk of stroke, coronary heart disease, and blood clots.
Sleep tight and control stress.
Lack of sleep can cause obesity, diabetes, depression, and heart problems. If you go to bed at the same time, you can wake up without an alarm and feel good all day, then you are all right. Well, if you, like most people, change the alarm clock “for another five minutes” every morning, you need to urgently address this problem.
If you are one of those who toss and turn in bed for a long time, our material on how to quickly fall asleep will be useful to you. Make a sound sleep your priority for at least a week: set up a schedule and stick to it no matter what – go to bed and wake up at the same time. All this should help regulate biorhythms and improve overall well-being.