Cardiologist Rodrigo León points out that acquiring a healthy lifestyle from childhood is key to keeping it strong and healthy. The heart is a muscle the size of a fist and pumps blood throughout the body. It beats around 115,000 times a day and the World Health Organization estimates that around 18 million people die from heart disease each year.
Acquiring a healthy lifestyle from childhood is key to keeping it strong and healthy. Cardiologist Rodrigo León, from Clinica Ricardo Palma, explains 5 things we should avoid to reduce the risk of heart conditions.
- Smoking is bad for the heart. The cigarette contains nicotine and generates carbon monoxide, substances that damage the walls of the arteries and favor the formation of thrombi. In addition, it increases cholesterol levels. Carbon monoxide decreases the supply of oxygen in the body.
- Sedentary lifestyle. Performing physical activity for less than 20 minutes a day, less than three times a week is a ‘ticking time bomb’ for health. This bad habit triggers problems such as obesity, increased bad cholesterol in the blood, high triglycerides, increased risk of diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular diseases: heart attack and/or stroke, and the appearance of multiple chronic conditions.
- Unhealthy diet. A nutritional regimen rich in processed foods and sweets is low in nutrients (vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants) and high in empty calories, due to the concentration of refined flours, sodium, and sugar. Excessive consumption of fats and fried foods, as well as carbohydrates (bread, rice and pasta) are very harmful to cardiovascular health. An unbalanced diet increases the risk of having high cholesterol, diabetes and developing cardiovascular diseases.
- Sleep few hours a day. People who sleep less than 6 hours a day may have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease compared to those who sleep between 7 and 8 hours, according to the results of multiple studies. Poor quality sleep increases the likelihood of developing atherosclerosis (plaque buildup in arteries throughout the body) and hypertension.
- Poor stress management. People subjected to high levels of stress constantly and those who do not know how to handle situations of tension and anxiety, constantly release high amounts of adrenaline, which in the long term deteriorates the arteries and the heart. Condition that predisposes to suffer from atherosclerosis and high blood pressure.
The heart must be cared for since childhood with a balanced diet and regular exercise. Do not be overcome by laziness and move. It is never too late to acquire a healthy lifestyle.
Dr. Rodrigo León
Cardiologist at Clinica Ricardo Palma