1. Exercise and walk
People who exercise little are more likely to develop hypertension and coronary heart disease. An adult needs 2.5-5 hours of aerobic exercise per week – this is swimming, cycling, running and other activities during which the heart rate accelerates .
If you do not have enough time for a full workout, try to use every opportunity to move. For example, walk home from work, climb stairs more often. The real benefits of such “everyday” physical education were proved back in 2013. A group of scientists from America and Australia found that a daily routine, including regular walking and climbing stairs, can achieve a high level of activity and reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by 25%, and stroke by 26%.
By the way, movement can be introduced even into sedentary work. From time to time, take a break from tasks and do simple gymnastics. You can try standing up for a few hours a day. Of course, such a habit will not replace a full-fledged workout, but some experts believe that it can improve blood circulation.
2. Get tested
If a person eats too much saturated fat, such as butter or processed foods, their triglyceride and cholesterol levels rise over time. The latter is also called bad cholesterol. Its normal level is 5 mmol/L . If there is more cholesterol, fatty plaques may appear in the vessels. They increase the risk of deadly stroke and heart attack. Ideally, the first cholesterol check should be done between the ages of 9 and 11. Retests are given every five years. Women over 55 and men over 45 should have their cholesterol levels checked every 1 to 2 years. If a person has diabetes, tests are ordered more frequently.
The level of sugar in the blood is rising , among other things, due to the fact that there are too many foods with fast carbohydrates in the diet. They are found in sauces, pastries, white bread, sausages, sweets and fast food. The normal concentration of glucose in the blood is considered to be between 3.9 and 5.6 mmol / l . An increase may signal the development of diabetes. This disease increases the risk of heart attack and stroke by two to three times. Healthy people need to have their blood sugar checked every three years.
3. Eat a salad every day
The optimal amount of vegetables and fruits for an adult is at least 400 g per day. But it is unlikely that anyone measures greens every day in order to meet the limit. It is much easier to get in the habit of regularly supplementing your lunch or dinner with a good salad.
The fact is that almost all vegetables (except potatoes) contain fiber that is good for the heart. It helps maintain normal blood sugar levels and lowers cholesterol. And the greens make up for the deficiency of micronutrients. For example, spinach is rich in vitamin A. Broccoli contains folic acid, potassium and manganese. Brussels sprouts are high in vitamins C and K.
In order not to get bored from the same thing, select the ingredients in the salad according to the season. In summer – cucumbers, zucchini, green onions. In winter – cabbage, carrots, beets. Improvise with dressings, come up with interesting additions for a delicious crunch, such as sprouted grains or flax seeds.
If you don’t like raw vegetables, try frying or sautéing them. Chicken stew goes well with bell peppers. And funchose – with a salad of broken cucumbers.
4. Don’t skip vaccinations
Cardiovascular complications are the second most common cause of death from influenza. The virus, getting on the heart muscle, causes inflammation – myocarditis. It in turn provokes heart failure. Therefore, experts recommend getting a flu shot every year. In order not to forget about it, you can start an online calendar and choose convenient dates in advance. As a rule, mass vaccination starts in September-October.
In addition, every 10 years it is worth vaccinating against diphtheria and tetanus. These diseases impair the functioning of the heart, nervous and respiratory systems. Rubella sometimes leads to myocarditis. Most often, children become infected with it, so the rubella vaccine is given at 12 months, at 6 years and up to 17 years. But there are also cases of the disease among adults. If you haven’t been vaccinated beforehand, experts recommend getting vaccinated between the ages of 17 and 25.
5. Go to bed at the same time
An adult needs at least 7 hours of sleep a day. Sleep deprivation affects blood pressure levels. Usually during sleep, it decreases, and insomnia leads to the fact that the heart works at high capacities longer than it should. To avoid such problems, experts recommend going to bed and waking up at about the same time every day.
The regimen will gradually become a habit, especially if you help the body at first. Try not to drink alcohol, strong tea or coffee at least six hours before bedtime. And in about an hour, start relaxing: put down your smartphone, take a bath, read a nice book. Make sure nothing is blocking you. If you wake up to sounds or lights, buy earplugs, a mask, and blackout curtains. It is also worth checking whether the mattress, blankets and pillows are comfortable. If sleep problems torment you regularly, it will not be superfluous to see a specialist.
6. Weigh and measure blood pressure
It is worth periodically checking three important indicators of health. These are body mass index (BMI), waist circumference and blood pressure.
BMI is calculated using the formula weight (kg) / height² (m) . If the result is between 18.5 and 24.9, then everything is in order with the weight.
A BMI above 30 indicates obesity, which provokes type II diabetes. Even an index of 25 – slightly above the norm – indicates overweight. It also increases the risk of getting sick.
Sometimes deposits accumulate not only under the skin, but also around the abdominal organs. This is internal fat , the excess of which is bad for the heart. Therefore, it is worth checking the waist circumference even with normal weight. The optimal indicator for men is up to 94 cm. For women – up to 80 cm.
Making friends with a tonometer will also not be superfluous. Normal blood pressure is considered 120/80. If the indicators for several days are equal to or exceed 140/90, it is worth seeing a specialist. According to the World Health Organization, more than a billion people aged 30-79 worldwide suffer from a dangerous pathological condition – hypertension. Often the disease is asymptomatic. Therefore, it is necessary to measure pressure at least once a year even for those who do not complain of feeling unwell.
To keep the heart healthy, it is important to notice suspicious changes in the body in time. Scientists from Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University have created a prototype device that will allow you to monitor the state of blood vessels using a smartphone. The sensor is attached to the neck, near the carotid or brachial artery, and analyzes the heart rate. Any violations of the frequency of contractions and other anomalies are recorded. Thanks to these data, specialists will be able to diagnose hypertension, thrombosis, atherosclerosis and varicose veins.
Scientists plan to put the device on the market next year. The device can be bought for 1.5-2 thousand rubles. In the future, they want to use this technology for non-invasive measurement of blood glucose levels.