Healthy heart tips in conjunction with World Heart Day on 29 September
Our human heart is the most hardworking organ in our body. It works from the day it’s formed in the womb till the day we die. Hence, we must take good care of our heart because the moment it stops beating, it’s the end of life.
According to Ministry of Health, coronary heart disease is the 2nd leading cause of death in Singapore. However, heart disease can be prevented and treated if risk factors are recognized early. Risk factors are usually genetic and cannot be changed, such as age, gender, race and family history.
Let’s focus on risk factors that are within our control such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, physical inactivity, smoking and stress. High blood pressure, or hypertension, can strain the heart by overworking it. Being obese can also lead from hypertension to other conditions such as diabetes and high cholesterol. With no obvious symptoms for the above conditions, it is important to have your blood pressure checked regularly.
Smoking increases blood pressure and risks of heart attacks, accounting for 40% of deaths caused by heart disease in patients younger than 65 years old.
Dietary control of calories and regular exercise work hand in hand to keep a healthy weight and waist circumference. Regular exercise can help to improve risk factors, as well as reduce stress and improve overall wellbeing.
Keeping a healthy weight, doing regular exercise and reducing salt intake are all important habits to keep our blood pressure under control.
Besides lifestyle changes, regular visits to your family doctor for a heart health screening is important so that we can live a healthy and active lifestyle even as we grow older.