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Heart attack: lifestyle changes to make to reduce the risk of heart attack

By Priyanka Verma 
Updated Date

Lifestyle changes that may prevent a heart attack: Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the leading cause of death across the globe, claiming an estimated 17.9 million lives each year. Out of all the deaths caused due to heart-related complications, 85 per cent are due to heart attack and stroke. Most of the time it is caused due to poor lifestyle and unhealthy dietary choices. While it is difficult to predict when one will suffer from a heart attack, making some lifestyle habits may indeed cut down the risk.

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What leads to a heart attack?

Nestled between the rib cages and lungs, our heart is about the size of a clenched fist and weighs between 300 and 450 g. The muscular organ has the crucial task to pump blood to all the parts of the body. The blood pumped by the heart provides our body with the oxygen and nutrients it needs to function.

A person suffers from a heart attack when one or more coronary arteries are blocked. This happens over time due to a buildup of fatty deposits from substances called plaques. The blockage can narrow the arteries and make it harder for the heart to pump the blood to other parts of the body leading to a heart attack. Here are some common lifestyle changes you can make to prevent it.

Eat healthily

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The first and foremost thing is your diet. A well-balanced and nutritious diet can be the best way to fight heart diseases and other chronic health issues. The kind of foods you have regularly can spike your cholesterol level, blood pressure and blood sugar level, all these things together can affect the normal functioning of your heart and over time can lead to a heart attack. Fill your plate with healthy and nutritious food, rich in vitamins and minerals. Limit the intake of unhealthy fat, refined food products and processed food.

Stay active

High blood pressure is a leading risk factor for heart diseases. Persistent high blood pressure can damage the arteries by making them less elastic. It decreases the flow of blood and oxygen to your heart and eventually leads to a heart attack. Even low blood pressure can lead to a heart attack. So, you must monitor your heart rate regularly and take the necessary steps to keep it constant.

Manage your blood pressure level

High blood pressure is a leading risk factor for heart diseases. Persistent high blood pressure can damage the arteries by making them less elastic. It decreases the flow of blood and oxygen to your heart and eventually leads to a heart attack. Even low blood pressure can lead to a heart attack. So, you must monitor your heart rate regularly and take the necessary steps to keep it constant.

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Limit alcohol and quit smoking

Both excessive alcohol and chain-smoking can put you at the risk of developing heart diseases. Cigarettes and alcohol can increase your blood sugar level, lead to weight gain and may lead to a heart attack. If you smoke or drink regularly, try to cut it down to live a long and healthy life.

Manage your blood sugar level

Having high blood pressure increases the risk of developing diabetic heart diseases. High blood sugar levels or unmanaged blood sugar levels can damage the blood vessels and the nerves that control the heart and blood vessels. Studies suggest that about 68 per cent of people aged above 65 and suffering from diabetes die from a heart attack. Monitor your blood sugar level twice a week and eat low glycemic index food to keep your blood sugar level in control.

Manage your cholesterol

Cholesterol is a type of lipid made from part fat and part protein. Our body requires it to build healthy cells and keep us warm. But excess bad cholesterol can start depositing in your arteries. It narrows the walls of the blood vessel and our heart has to put extra pressure to pump blood and oxygen to different parts of the body. Too much pressure increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.

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Manage your stress level

Our mental health and our physical well-being are linked with each other. When you are mentally calm your body has to face the repercussions. Too much stress increases the activity in an area of the brain linked to processing emotions, increasing the risk of developing heart diseases like heart attack and stroke. Try to manage your stress level by practising yoga and meditation.

Manage your weight

Research suggests that most overweight and obese people are prone to heart attack as compared to others. That’s because being overweight increases the risk of high blood pressure and high cholesterol level, both are major contributors to cardiovascular diseases. Try to manage your weight and for that eat healthy, exercise and follow healthy lifestyle habits.

The bottom line

Apart from the above-mentioned factors your age, sex, race and family history can also increase your risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. It is hard to prevent heart attack, all you can do is follow a healthy lifestyle to cut down the chances.

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