While you all must be busy making plans for the special day, why not do something for your heart as well. Studies show that young Indians are at higher risk of heart diseases. So, this Valentine’s Day, take a pledge to show your heart some love. Here are some ways you can ensure that your heart stays young and healthy
1 . Exercise Regularly
Make sure to go for 30 minutes of exercise. Consistent exercise at least 5 times a week helps strengthen your heart and burn the fat. If you can’t fit in 30 continuous minutes of exercise, you can split it up into three 10-minute walks throughout the day.
2 . Check Your Waistline
Indians are more prone to fat deposition around their waist (abdominal adiposity). Studies have shown that your waist will tell you more about your heart than your BMI or your weight. A large waist can put you at a higher risk for heart diseases. Losing weight around your waist can be the first step towards a healthy heart. The best way to do this is to eat healthy and stay active throughout the day. Take stairs instead of using the lifts, avoid sitting at one place for long hours, opt for a standing desk and walk when making those phone calls.Health Risks Of Obesity
3 . Practice Portion Control
What you eat is irrelevant if you don’t eat it in proper proportions. Eating in a small plate will help you keep a check on your portions. The best way to keep a check on what goes inside is to eat larger portions of low calorie nutritious food like fresh fruits and vegetables and take small portions of high-calorie foods rich in lean protein. This strategy can shape up your diet as well as your heart and waistline.
4 . Opt for Whole Grains
Whole grains are excellent sources fiber and other nutrients that play a role in regulating blood pressure and heart health. Avoid refined flour, white bread, doughnuts, cakes, noodles and biscuits. Replace refined grains with whole gains like whole wheat, bajra (pearl millet), jowar (millet), makai (maize), jau (barley), ragi (finger millet), kuttu (buckwheat). The best way to incorporate these grains is my making multigrain aata out of these and using them on daily basis.
5 . Choose Healthy Fats
Limiting how much saturated and trans fats you eat is an important step to reduce your blood cholesterol and lower your risk of coronary artery disease. A high blood cholesterol level can lead to a buildup of plaques in your arteries, called atherosclerosis, which can increase your risk of heart attack and stroke. Oils that are good for you include olive oil, canola oil, and vegetable and nut oils. An easy way to add healthy fat (and fiber) to your diet is ground flax seed. Flax seeds are small brown seeds that are high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. Health Benefits Of Flax Seeds
6 . Reduce Your Salt Intake
Eating a lot of sodium can contribute to high blood pressure, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Reducing sodium is an important part of a heart-healthy diet. Studies suggest restricting salt intake to about a teaspoon a day.
7 . Manage Your Stress
Stress may affect your heart health. Taking a little time out for yourself will do wonders for your heart (and your well-being). You may practice yoga, meditation, deep breathing exercises or join a book club. Gardening, swimming and a refreshing cuppa are also some easy ways to ward off that stressful day.Golden Rules To Stay Happy
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So this valentine’s day, show your heart that you care. Stay Healthy, Stay Happy!