You feel your heart pounding when you’re scared, skipping a beat when you exchange glances with Mr/Ms Right. There are hundreds of heart idioms in English … “heart of gold” “heart-to-heart” “heart’s in the right place” and so on. But few of us know what’s really going on in there! Heart-disease is the biggest equal-opportunity killer of both men and women, claiming nearly 17.3 million worldwide, annually. There are several factors responsible for this alarming figure and most of them are avoidable, preventable and within our control. Heart-disease also causes chronic disability and reduces the quality of life.
Here are some tips that will do your heart good!
1: Salt Shaker
Do you reach for the salt-shaker before you’ve even tasted the food? High dietary sodium has long been suspected to be a culprit in cardiovascular disease and studies have shown that reducing salt intake by even half-a-teaspoon daily can reduce the number of coronaries. Processed foods, restaurant cuisine and fast-foods have high salt content. Salt is a hidden ingredient in white-bread, pickles, sodas, deli meats etc. However, some people are more “sodium-sensitive” or “sodium-resistant” than others.
Are you a salt-addict?
2: Be A Number Cruncher
Forget balance-sheets and phone-numbers – what we’re talking about is far more important! Become aware of the right levels for blood-pressure, blood-sugar, cholesterol, triglycerides depending on your age and gender. Go for regular physical exams and keep these important numbers under control. Don’t ignore any unusual symptoms or sensations that you feel, especially if they occur early in the mornings. Being aware of your body and any changes in it could save your life.
Are your numbers healthy?
3: Love Your Pet
Pet-therapy is being recognized as one of the most beneficial ways to take care of your heart. Their unconditional love, innocent and amusing pranks are stress-busters. Caring for/grooming/exercising with them are all great ways to stay emotionally-balanced. Animal-assisted therapy is used in clinical settings to treat depression and a variety of psychological conditions. Owning a pet has been shown to lower the risk of dying from heart-attacks and lung-disease.
Have you noticed changes in your emotional state when you’re with your pet?