How do you make those New Year’s resolutions count? Hitting close to 60 days, it’s time to reassess and regroup your focus on carrying out those resolutions you made towards being fit, losing weight, reducing stress, and improving cardiac health.
More often the common resolutions finally give an end result of boosting heart health, even when it’s not necessarily the primary intent. Here’s five new year resolutions that help boost heart health & who knows, if you follow it well enough, you might begin your next year with a healthier heart.
- Lose Weight
Most of us make this as our most important resolution as soon as the new year approaches. But the majority of us struggle to maintain a healthy weight. The first and foremost thing that’s important while trying to lose weight to create realistic goals. It’s important to make healthier lifestyle choices and set goals that are achievable.
We suggest starting with basic changes, if you like running, start with 15 minutes per day and increase to 60 minutes over a period of time. Any change wrt health and lifestyle doesn’t come easy, but getting back to track matters.
It’s important to keep in mind when you are overweight or obese that there is increased risk of:
- Heart Disease
- High Cholesterol
- Blood Clots
Most health experts suggest focusing on lifestyle modification, use an activity calculator to determine how much and what type of activity is required to reach goals. There are many apps that can help track your food intake, calorie intake and exercise. It helps understand your intake, keep a check on junk food and avoid triggers over a period of time.
- Get an annual medical check up
Getting an annual medical check up is not always a bad thing. It’s always good to start with a detailed cardiac check up. Apart from ensuring that no major health problems are present, a physical check up allows your doctor to evaluate latest glucose and blood pressure levels. It also helps identify any potential problems and help them detect them in earlier stages.
A regular, timely health check up can also help monitor important health markers like cholesterol levels, triglycerides and it paves way for discussing lifestyle & modification required to ensure a heart healthy year ahead.
It’s highly important for both men and women to undergo annual medical check ups and start focusing on heart-health risk modification. Book an appointment today with Dr. Pavankumar Rasalkar to get your heart evaluation done today.
- Reduce stress
Leading a stress free must be a goal set for a lifetime and not just for a year or two. Many studies show that highly anxious people are more prone to heart attacks and strokes. It’s necessary to choose things that help you relax. Choose any activity for example meditation may work for some, yoga for others. Walking and breathing in that fresh air does the trick too, reading a book or exercising.
Although too much screen time can hamper your health, you can turn it to something beneficial. There are many websites and apps that can help you calm your mind with soothing music and also suggest breathing exercises that facilitate meditation.
- Get more sleep
Not getting enough sleep can lead to overeating, hypertension, and induces stress that leads to heart failure. Consistently less sleep can increase blood pressure and cause inflammation. The basic mechanism is quite simple. The part of the brain that activates during sleep deprivation is close to the part where hunger is evoked. So when we don’t sleep more, we tend to eat more.
How can you ensure you get more sleep? It’s always best to reduce screen time at least 60 minutes before bedtime. Cut back on beverages like coffee and tea. It’s best advised to sleep in a dark room with ambient temperature.
It’s extremely important to cut down on smoking and reduce high-fat diets.
- Stop smoking and reduce alcohol intake
Moderate drinking is OK. But ensure that you don’t consume more than 200-250ml of hard liquor. Reducing alcohol and caffeinated beverages will help you sleep better. It’s also a known fact that by reducing these will help control those empty calories that we have been consuming.
Smoking is definitely a deal breaker. It causes irreparable heart damage and causes build up of fatty substances in the arteries. It increases blood pressure which makes the heart pump harder and cause artery walls to bulge or burst. It also increases cholesterol levels that leads to accumulation of plaque in arteries.
To know more on how to reduce your risk for heart disease, consult Dr. Pavankumar Rasalkar. Book an appointment today to know what lifestyle and diet modifications can help you keep those new year resolutions going.