The American Heart Association has made a checklist called 'Life's Simple 7' for a healthy heart, and a recent study says that people who score well on this checklist are less likely to suffer from a heart failure. The study published in the American Heart Association's journal Circulation: Heart Failure, found that a one point higher cardiovascular health score reduced the risk of heart failure by 23%. Here are the seven steps that everyone can take to protect their heart.
Step 1--Manage blood pressure. An uncontrolled blood pressure puts you at a huge risk of heart failure. The blood exerts pressure on the walls of the arteries when it flows. When the blood pressure is higher than normal (120/80), the heart has to work harder to pump the blood, and if the pressure becomes uncontrolled, it might lead to heart failure.
Step 2--Control your blood cholesterol levels. High cholesterol levels are also a major risk of heart failure. As the cholesterol levels increase, there is high chance of the cholesterol building up and lining the walls of the arteries and hardening over time forming a plaque. This plaque can obstruct blood flow leading to heart failure.
Step 3-- Reduce your blood glucose level. A high blood sugar level prevents the arteries from dilating which leads to inflammation and constriction and hampers normal blood flow. Apart from this, high blood sugar level also increase the LDL cholesterol in the body which increases your risk of stroke.
Step 4--Get active. Exercise benefits the heart in numerous ways. From increasing the oxygen supply and improving blood circulation to reducing cholesterol level and controlling your blood pressure, exercise helps you keep the heart healthy in every possible way.
Step 5--Eat right. Diet plays an important role in the prevention and management of heart disease. You must avoid eating processed foods loaded with salt and sugar and oily food as it not only increases your cholesterol levels but can also lead to hypertension. Another important thing is to include foods rich in fibre like whole grains, vegetables and as they are known to be heart healthy and prevent heart disease.
Step 6--Lose weight. Losing weight is the best way to reduce the risk of heart disease. When you lose weight, your cholesterol levels are lower and you blood pressure comes under your control, which are the biggest risk factors for heart disease.
Step 7--Quit smoking. Smoking is known to constrict your blood vessels, making it difficult for the blood to flow. It also increases your blood pressure and heart rate that puts an immense pressure on your heart. Apart from this smoking also leads to plaque formation in your arteries which also makes it difficult for the blood to flow and increases your risk of suffering from a heart attack.