We’re always told how certain foods are bad for our cardiovascular health and the ultimate way to dig your own grave. Even though it holds true that our diet goes a long way in determining our heart health, it’s not the only factor. So, how do we look out for potential heart problems? “The first sign of a potential disease is when you start gaining weight. The body is programmed to metabolise the food you eat. If it’s failing in any way, it’s a cause for concern,” says Dr Lenny Da Costa, Goa-based Anti Ageing Specialist and Cardiologist. Here are 5 things you can do today to avoid a heart problem in the future.
1. Regular Exercise
We always recommend you to get your body moving and include some kind of workout in your daily routine. The benefits of working out go beyond yielding a six pack. “High intensity interval training is the most effective. Working out releases serotonin, dopamine in the body and allows better blood flow in the blood vessels around your heart,” says Dr Da Costa. “Anything between 35 minutes to 45 minutes is good to maintain your heart health,” he adds.
2. Shut Off The Electronics
It’s easy to conk off while texting your friends or watching your favourite show. But that means waking up in the middle of the night to switch off all the devices and finally sleeping in peace. Not only does this disturb your sleep but also hampers your performance the following day. Dr Da Costa recommends switching off all blue light-emitting devices at least one hour before you hit the sack. Shutting off all electronic devices such as your phone and laptop a little while before you sleep will help you maintain good sleep hygiene and ultimately, benefit your overall health.
3. Sleep On Time
How you sleep is just as important as when you sleep. “The human growth hormone (HGH) is released while we’re asleep. People in their puberty who don’t sleep on time, face a lot of issues as they grow older,” says Dr Da Costa. He suggests that men should sleep by 11pm to ensure they don’t affect their heart health in the future.
4. Follow A Low-Carb Diet
“Indians have a very carb-heavy diet,” says Dr Da Costa. He suggests that as far as possible, people should aim to follow a diet that’s moderate in protein, low in carbs and high in fats. There are several studies out there that show the harmful effects of following a heavy carb diet on cardiovascular health.
5. Workout In The Morning
Yes, when you workout makes a big difference as well! Working out in the morning has way more benefits than working out in the evening does. According to Dr Da Costa, working out in the evening is bad for your sleep cycle while working out in the morning releases happy hormones and burns fat throughout the day. And we all know what a disturbed sleep means for the heart.