The heart is one of the most important organs in the human body. It undertakes the important task of supplying blood, oxygen and nutrients to several vital organs such as the lungs, brain and stomach. Not surprisingly, heart diseases pose a serious threat to an individual’s health.
The changing lifestyle and food habits have led to an increase in heart diseases across the globe. In India, deaths due to cardiovascular diseases have risen by 34% in the past 26 years. Conditions such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, sedentary lifestyles are some of the contributing factors to heart-related ailments.
Nutrition and physical activities can prevent the onset of heart diseases. Limiting the intake of food items harmful to the heart and engaging in exercises that strengthens the heart should be a priority for all individuals. The World Heart Day celebrated on the 29th of September, is a global effort to create awareness against cardiovascular diseases.
On this occasion, we provide you with tips and suggestions on how to maintain a healthy heart.
- Walk to keep your heart healthy: One of the best activity for a healthy heart is walking. It is inexpensive, safe, and a convenient way to keep your heart strong. The best part about walking is you don’t have to take out time from your busy schedule. Especially when you are on a time crunch, walking will give you the necessary exercise and also get your work done. Have to go grocery shopping? Walk towards the nearest store. Feeling drowsy after a heavy lunch or dinner? Go for a stroll! You can also include brisk walking as a part of your fitness program. Regular walking can help lower cholesterol, blood pressure and also helps in weight loss.
- Cycling to improve stamina and strengthen heart muscles: Cycling serves the dual purpose of commuting as well as a great cardio exercise. Not only does cycling strengthen your leg muscles, but it also increases lung capacity and improves blood circulation. When you pedal, your leg muscles require more oxygen and hence more blood. The heart strives to supply the muscles with more blood, and this leads to an increase in the heart rate. The end result is an improved pumping action of the heart which in turn, makes your heart strong.
- Take a swim: Swimming is a fun activity that is believed to reduce stress instantly. The buoyancy one experiences while swimming does wonders for the brain as well as the muscles. Especially for individuals with joint problems or arthritis, swimming is an ideal exercise. There is no unnecessary pressure on the joints and muscles of the body while swimming. The benefit is improved breathing, blood circulation and blood pressure.
- Mix exercise with aerobics: Aerobics, in its various forms, is certainly a popular form of cardio exercise. A great way to work those tired muscles, aerobics is a complete body exercise that leaves you invigorated. Dance to the beats or move to the rhythm of your favorite music. You can also opt for water aerobics with a combination of swimming.
Altogether, there are many ways to keep your heart healthy. The time and effort you invest in strengthening your heart will help you to lead a healthy life in the future.