In Singapore, an average of 19 people die from cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack and stroke every day. Based on statistics from the Singapore Heart Foundation, cardiovascular diseases accounted for 31.7% of all deaths in 2020. This is equivalent to 1 of 3 deaths attributed to heart disease or stroke.
We all know that prevention is better than cure, so here are 5 easy tips for improving your heart health:
Our hearts need regular exercise to stay healthy. The Health Promotion Board recommends adults engage in 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity per week. Examples of moderate-intensity exercise include jogging and incline walking on a treadmill. Vigorous-intensity exercises include high-intensity interval training and sprinting. If your lifestyle is overly sedentary, start off with walking and gradually build up to more challenging workouts.
GET ENOUGH SLEEP
Sleep gives your body the time it needs to recover and strengthen itself. Studies have shown that adults who sleep 7 to 8 hours a night had healthier arteries than those who only slept less than 5 hours a night.
A strong heart starts with proper nourishment. The best food that can improve your heart health includes fruits, vegetables, lean protein (e.g. chicken breasts), whole grains, and healthy fats (e.g. nuts, olive oil). Do avoid food high in sodium, and processed food sugar and keep alcohol intake low. Most importantly, drink lots of water!
Heart diseases have been shown to occur more commonly in smokers than non-smokers. Smoking does not only harm your own health but it also harms those around you through second-hand inhalation.
KEEP STRESS LEVELS LOW
There are thousands of biochemical responses when our body is placed under stress. This includes an increase in blood pressure and heart rate. More often than not, being stressed creates more stress and you will be trapped in a vicious cycle. Keep your stress levels low through meditation, yoga, and making time for the people and activities you love.