Exercise, foods and food habits that help in keeping the heart healthy and young

  • Posted By: Dr. Vanita Arora,
  • Posted On: 7/8/2019 11:19:50 AM

Age is no barrier when it comes to taking care of your heart, here’s what you should strive to follow in each decade of your life. 


 In your 20's find a doctor and have regular wellness examination. Healthy people need doctors too. Accept healthy and active life style. There’s no one I know who has ever said that I feel better being sedentary or I feel better eating a terrible diet, or that smoking always made me feel younger. If you picked up smoking as a teenager, it’s time to quit now. 

 In your 30's juggling family and career leaves many adults with little time to worry about their hearts. Hence, it is important to make heart-healthy living a part of the family’s lifestyle. Create and sustain heart-healthy habits in your kids and you’ll reap the benefits, too. Spend less time on the couch and explore a nearby park on foot or walk the dog. Know your family history. The risk of heart disease increases if anyone in your family has suffered from coronary artery disease, especially if the relative is the parent or sibling. Focus on risk factors, control your weight, exercise regularly, quit smoking and eat right. Control your stress levels. Prolonged high stress levels can cause increase in heart-beat and blood pressure which can further damage the walls of the artery. 

Follow these tips to keep stress at bay: 

 1. Relax - You deserve it, it's good for you, and it takes less time than you think. 
2. Meditate - A few minutes of practice per day can help ease anxiety. 
3. Breathe Deeply - Take a 5-minute break and focus on your breathing. 
4. Be Present – Slow down. Take 5 minutes and focus on only one behavior with awareness. 
5. Reach Out - Your social network is one of your best tools for handling stress. 
 6. Tune In to Your Body - Mentally scan your body to get a sense of how stress affects it each day. 
 7. Laugh Out Loud – Laughter is the best remedy to alleviate stress. 
8. Crank up the Tunes - Research shows that listening to soothing music can lower blood pressure, heart rate, and anxiety. 
9. Get Moving - You don’t have to run in order to get a runner’s high. All forms of exercise including yoga and walking, can ease anxiety by helping the brain. 

 In your 40's if heart health hasn’t been a priority, don’t worry, healthy choices you make now can still strengthen your heart. A lifestyle change is required at this age and one should understand the need for it. The change can only happen if you set your mind to it. At this stage, metabolism is slow but unnecessary weight gain can be avoided with healthy diet and physical activities. The trick is to find a workout routine you enjoy and find a work out buddy. 

At 45, you should undergo a fasting blood glucose test. If your partner snores, do not avoid it. 1 out of 5 adults have mild sleep apnea (breathing problem during sleep). If not treated at the right time, sleep apnea can contribute to high BP, Heart diseases and stroke. 

 In your 50's you need some extra steps to supplement what you’ve been doing until now. Eat a healthy diet. Refresh your eating habits by eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, fibre rich whole grains, fish, nuts, legumes, seeds and no red meat. Use oils like olive oil, canola oil, vegetable and nut oils, margarine (trans fat free) and snack on nuts and seeds and avocados. 

 Learn the warning signs of heart attack and stroke. Signals of Heart attack and Stroke can be different for different individuals. It’s not necessary that everyone experiences severe chest pain during heart attack and sudden numbness during stroke. And heart attack symptoms in women differ from men. 

 In your 60's, with age comes an increased risk for heart disease. Blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol tend to rise. Have an ankle brachial index test done as part of a physical exam. The test assesses the pulses in the feet to help diagnose plaque buildup in the leg arteries. At this stage of life, body requires less calories. Excessive weight can complicate the functioning of the heart, further increasing the risk of heart diseases, high BP, diabetes and high cholesterol. Regular physical activity paired with small portions of nutrient-rich food can help maintain a healthy life. Later in life, of course, continue the good work and you’ll live to see a longer and happier life.

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