Tips for a Healthy Heart: Your Guide to Turning 30 in 2023
By NCVC Staff | Published on Oct 09, 2023
Turning 30 is often considered a pivotal point when it comes to health. Joint pains, fatigue, and a decline in stamina become more noticeable. To maintain good health, especially heart health, it is essential to adopt a wholesome diet and a regular fitness routine. Cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks, has been the leading cause of death worldwide for quite some time. Sadly, studies show that Indians are at a higher risk of developing heart attacks at a relatively younger age, around 10 to 15 years earlier than their Western counterparts. Shockingly, statistics estimate that approximately 40 percent of heart attack victims are under 40 years old. This alarming trend calls for action, urging people to follow tips to keep their hearts healthy after turning 30.
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Understanding Heart Attacks
According to Dr. Gnanadev N C, an expert in cardiology, heart attacks are largely influenced by lifestyle choices. “Heart attacks occur due to the build-up of fat in the blood vessels supplying blood to the heart muscle,” he explains. This fat deposition process begins in the second decade of life. The progression or regression of this process depends on our lifestyle and the presence of risk factors. Taking measures to prevent heart attacks should start at an early age, necessitating significant behavioral changes and awareness. Major risk factors for cardiovascular disease can be classified as modifiable or non-modifiable.
- Non-modifiable risk factors include age, sex, genetic makeup, and family history.
- Modifiable risk factors include hypertension, diabetes mellitus, cigarette smoking, high cholesterol, obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, and unhealthy dietary habits.
Tips for a Healthy Heart After Turning 30
Dr. Gnanadev emphasizes that certain lifestyle habits can help keep your heart young and healthy.
1. Consume a Healthy Diet
Maintaining a well-balanced diet is crucial. Incorporate high-fiber, low-fat foods like vegetables, fruits, beans, fish, low-fat dairy products, whole grains, and healthy fats such as olive oil into your daily intake. Limit your consumption of salt, sugar, alcohol, red meat, full-fat dairy products, and fried foods.
2. Quit or Reduce Smoking
Smoking is a significant risk factor for heart attacks, especially in young individuals. It increases blood pressure and inflammation, promoting the deposition of fat in arteries. Even passive smoking poses hazards. In fact, a majority of patients with heart problems are smokers. The risk of heart disease decreases immediately after quitting and is reduced by 50 percent after a year of cessation.
3. Increase Physical Activity
Lack of physical activity is a major risk factor for heart health. Regular exercise helps control weight, reduces blood pressure and cholesterol, and decreases the chances of diabetes. Following the guidelines, aim for at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity exercises like brisk walking. Additionally, 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, such as running, combined with two or more strength training sessions per week, can be sufficient. Performing very high-intensity exercises is unnecessary to achieve clinical benefits. However, if you plan on engaging in high-intensity activities after turning 40, it is advisable to undergo a prior cardiac evaluation.
4. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Maintaining a healthy weight and Body Mass Index (BMI) is instrumental in preventing heart disease. For Indians, a BMI below 23 is recommended. Additionally, reducing belly fat and achieving a waist circumference of less than 102 cm for men and 89 cm for women is advisable.
5. Regulate Your Sleep Pattern
Sleep disorders like insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea predispose individuals to heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Aim for quality sleep of 7 to 8 hours per day. Managing mental stress is also crucial.
6. Manage Stress
Stress increases the production of hormones like cortisol, which is detrimental to the heart. Engaging in physical activities such as yoga, relaxation exercises, and meditation can help cope with stress.
7. Regular Medical Tests
Undergoing regular health screenings for diabetes, blood pressure, and cholesterol enables early diagnosis of these risk factors, allowing appropriate measures to be taken. Being cautious and aware is one of the most important tips for maintaining heart health.
Once heart disease sets in, it is usually irreversible. However, it can be controlled. To prevent heart disease from developing, the measures described above should begin at an early age and be maintained consistently. These measures not only reduce the risk of heart disease but also decrease the chances of developing high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, and various mental disorders. By adopting a heart-healthy lifestyle, you can ensure longevity and vitality as you approach your thirties and beyond.