Friday, October 15

What habits are key to avoiding heart disease after 40 years


Having optimal heart health will help us have greater vitality as we age. We know there are activities or habits that we can practice from a young age to reduce vascular age and thus be able to extend our chronological age.

In general terms, we have to lead a healthy lifestyle in which we manage to couple a healthy and balanced diet with physical activity, adequate sleep, and other actions that help achieve a higher quality of life. Below we detail what this approach is about:

1. Increase physical activity

A sedentary lifestyle supports vascular aging because blood vessels defend themselves worse from oxidative stress. The endothelium, the innermost layer of the heart and over which the blood glides with each beat, becomes stronger the greater our physical activity.

With vascular aging, the arteries become stiffer, which damages organs such as the brain and kidneys. In addition, it favors the appearance of arterial hypertension and heart failure.

2. Apply a balanced diet

A balanced diet is essential for good heart health. A balanced caloric intake could represent a reduction of up to 25% of all cardiovascular risk factors, which is an overall effect similar to what you will get by exercising.

A balanced diet cannot prioritize the consumption of ultra-processed foods, which are too caloric and therefore harmful to heart health. In some developed countries, the consumption of these can reach up to 50% of the daily caloric intake.

3. Do not smoke, or give up tobacco

no smoke
Tobacco products are one of the main causes of heart and lung problems. Photo: Shutterstock

Tobacco is another of the enemies of the endothelium, and one of the most important modifiable cardiovascular factors. Quitting smoking is one of the most important strategies to extend our life expectancy and protect our hearts, something that smokers are aware of, because countless campaigns have been created worldwide, in order to raise awareness about this risk. .

This depends a lot on when we quit smoking. Quitting tobacco at 30 is not the same as quitting at 50. These are completely different situations for the body, which will find itself more diminished and worn out in one situation than in the other.

4. Sleep the necessary hours

It is not indicated in the cardiovascular risk tables, but proper sleep is essential for the body and the heart. According to studies, sleeping less than 7 hours can increase the risk of having a heart attack by up to 20%.

All of these strategies help lower the risk of heart disease. They can be even more effective if you have the advice of a medical specialist to help you organize them all within a large framework of action.

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