Five unusual and fun ways to avoid heart disease
Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in the world, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Happily, there are some quick and easy steps to help you maintain your heart health.
Here are five unusual and enjoyable ways you can reduce your risk of heart disease:
Spend time with your family
Numerous studies suggest that living with others — family, friends or a spouse — can reduce your risk of getting a heart disease. Chief among them: a meta-analysis published in the June 2018 edition of British Medical Journal.
The meta-analysis of 34 studies with more than two million participants of both sexes showed that divorced, unmarried or single people are at a higher risk of developing heart disease than married people. The study noted that living with others reduced one’s risk of heart disease irrespective of gender, socioeconomic status and demographic characters.
According to another study — published in 2018 by the European Society of Cardiology — the effects of loneliness on heart health include poorer outcomes in cardiovascular diseases (CVD) such as stroke, arrhythmia, heart valve disease and heart failure. “Loneliness is more common today than ever before, and more people live alone,” Anne Vinggaard Christensen, author of the study and a PhD student at the Heart Centre, Copenhagen University Hospital, Denmark, told an American science news site.
Adopt a fur baby
If you own a pet, you already know the joy and happiness fur babies bring to a home. They can be excellent companions during your alone time, silently supporting you with their love. It has been scientifically proven that out of all animals, dogs make the best companions for lonely and old people. Dog owners have not only been found to be physically fit and active but also mentally strong.
The American Heart Association recommends adopting a dog to reduce the risk of heart diseases.
Say yes to sex
Most heart patients are apprehensive about having sex, worried that it could trigger a heart attack. Michael Blaha, director of clinical research at the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease, dispelled this myth in an article on the Johns Hopkins Medicine website: “If you are fit enough to jog a mile or climb stairs without difficulty, it is safe for you to have sex...the possibility of having a heart attack during sexual activity is exceedingly low and shouldn’t scare you away.”
Studies show that having an orgasm two to three times a week can enhance cardiovascular health. However, experts argue that these may be the general effects of a happier life instead of the protective effects of sex. Regardless, the positive effects of sex on heart health can’t be denied.
Go on a vacation
Who doesn’t love a vacation? A few weeks out of the office can rejuvenate the mind and the body. Now reports published by the Syracuse University, U.S., suggest that your yearly vacation is indeed good for your heart. The research published in the Taylor & Francis journal Psychology and Health assessed the vacationing behaviour of 63 workers over 12 months. The study showed that people who vacation more frequently had fewer metabolic issues, and as a result, much lower risk of heart diseases.
Get a college degree
Getting through college may be one of the most stressful things you do, but research shows it has long-term benefits - every 3.6 years you spend getting a higher education reduces your risk of developing cardiovascular diseases by one-third.
In a research article published in the British Medical Journal earlier this year, Alice R. Carter, a PhD researcher at the University of Bristol, wrote that people with higher education tend to have lower basal metabolic index (BMR), they don’t smoke as much and they tend to have lower systolic (the upper number) blood pressure - all factors that reduce the risk of developing heart disease. Carter added that in people with higher education, the result (reduced risk) was more than the sum of these three factors.
(Basal Metabolic Rate or BMR is a measure of how many calories you need for the normal functioning of the body. It varies with one's height, weight, age and gender.)
Experts have also speculated that since educated people are more aware of the warning signs of heart diseases, they are likely to take professional help as soon as they notice symptoms.
Health articles in Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health. To know more about this topic, read our article on Heart Disease.
The information provided here is intended to provide free education about certain medical conditions and certain possible treatment. It is not a substitute for examination, diagnosis, treatment, and medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health professional. If you believe you, your child or someone you know suffers from the conditions described herein, please see your health care provider immediately. Do not attempt to treat yourself, your child, or anyone else without proper medical supervision. You acknowledge and agree that neither myUpchar nor firstpost is liable for any loss or damage which may be incurred by you as a result of the information provided here, or as a result of any reliance placed by you on the completeness, accuracy or existence of any information provided herein.
Updated Date: Sep 12, 2019 12:59:58 IST
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