In this modern, busy world, it’s so easy to neglect our health, especially our cardiovascular health. According to NHS Choices, heart diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide, so cardiovascular health is something that we shouldn’t ignore if we don’t want to end up as another sad statistic on the premature deaths list.
While everyone knows that smoking is bad, alcohol, exercise, diet and stress are other aspects of our lifestyle that we may need to consider making changes to if necessary.
A sedate lifestyle in which most of our waking day is spent sitting down is doing us no good at all health-wise and, according to the World Heart Federation, it increases our chances of cardiovascular disease by 50%. We need exercise, and it needs to be the right kind of exercise. Proper exercise needn’t be an exhausting workout at the gym; jogging or brisk walking on a regular basis can work wonders for our cardiovascular health.
Most people are aware that a healthy diet is one that cuts out most, if not all, of the stuff we enjoy most. For example, most of us consume far more salt than is good for us. Salt is very hard to avoid if we buy pre-packaged or tinned food ingredients. So the best advice from the World Heart Federation is not to add salt to anything. If it can’t be avoided completely, at least it can be kept below unhealthy levels. The same applies to foods high in saturated fats. On the other hand, there are many foods that are beneficial. These include, fish, fruit and vegetables and wholegrain cereals. Check the labels of products and take control of your intake. Alcohol in moderation is also considered beneficial, but very damaging otherwise.
Many of us live stressful lives. While a little stress keeps us mentally alert, too much stress is no good at all. Fortunately, there are plenty of stress-relieving techniques ranging from listening to music to meditation and yoga as recommended by Harvard Medical School.
In short, if we know the risks to our cardiovascular health that our present lifestyle involves, then we can decide to make changes that will reduce those risks significantly. It’s up to us.