Contributed by: Healthians Team

Overview of your heart health

Many of you already know the common risk factors of heart disease like smoking, overweight, diabetes, lack of physical exercise, hypertension, sedentary lifestyle, eating unhealthy food, and so on. No doubt, these risk factors impact your heart health to a great extent. But most of you overlook some aspects that are closely connected with your life and might impact your cardiovascular health even without your realization. 

These aspects might include loneliness, lack of green space, lack of sleep, air pollution, and unmanaged stress. These aspects can be ignored because people think that they cannot control or manage them on their own. Such aspects can directly affect your heart health or cause other underlying conditions. In this article, we will explore these aspects in detail.

Air pollution

Elders or people with heart-related problems can be in peril if they are breathing in dirty air. You already know that air pollution is on a rise in certain countries including India. It does not necessarily mean that you are exposed to air pollution but certain things like cooking, heating, wildfires can affect the quality of air around you. 

Needless to say that smoking and secondhand smoke can also impact the air quality. As per research, people who are exposed to a large quantity of particulate air pollution are more likely to get the development of blockages in the coronary arteries. These blockages might resist the blood flow to the heart and probably can enhance the risks of a heart attack.  The problem is you cannot manage or control the air pollution level but you can monitor the air quality index whenever you decide to go outside for a walk or exercise. It is advisable to stay indoors when the quality of air is bad.

Loneliness and social isolation

Your emotional and mental health can have a direct impact on your heart health. People with social isolation and loneliness are more likely to develop the risk of cardiovascular-related problems. Loneliness and social isolation can cause a loss of enthusiasm, lack of interest in following an appropriate diet, not taking medication on time, and lack of physical exercises or workouts. 

Lack of interest in following these healthy lifestyles can directly affect your heart health. You need to prioritize your mental health and emotional health as your physical health. If you adopt certain steps to improve your lifestyle habits, it can assist you to reduce loneliness and mental health issues. You can join sports groups, yoga classes, make new friends and explore for you to stay mentally and emotionally well. 

Lack of sleep

Nowadays, the big challenge is to have adequate sleep. Lack of sleep has become a big problem in everyone’s life. Most of you aim to have a proper eight or nine hours of sleep every day but if you do not achieve this, you are more likely to have the risk of high blood pressure or heart disease. If you seriously focus on having a proper eight or nine hours of sleep every day, you can reduce the risk of high blood pressure or heart-related problems. 

It is recommended to have your dinner early in the evening and set a fixed time for you to sleep and awake in the morning. In addition, you can promote a good night’s sleep by having a clean, dark, and quiet bedroom, be free of electronic devices such as mobile, tablets, and personal desktops, getting physical exercise, and exposing your body to the early morning sunshine. After following these lifestyle habits, if you still face sleep-related issues, connect with your healthcare provider.

Lack of green space

Most people are scared of air pollution and only go outside when it is necessary. It causes less interaction with the outside, especially the green space. It is crucial to go and spend some time outside for food and a workout as it can improve your mental and heart health to a great extent. People who have access to green space near their homes are less likely to have the risk of heart disease.

Green space near your home can reduce the chances of getting a stroke, or heart attack. However, not everyone has green space near to their house hence we recommend to go and spend some time outside regularly. If your area does not have any green space, you can breathe and intake fresh air early in the morning.

Unmanaged stress

Stress can occur at any phase of your life regardless of your age, profession, and level of education. No one is exempted from stressful situations and with time, stress can cause hypertension and higher cholesterol. But the important question is how you deal with stressful situations. People find an easy way to avoid stress like smoking, drinking alcohol, and stress-eating but these habits can hurt their overall general health especially their heart health.

It is advisable to spend time with friends and family whenever you feel stressed. If you do this, you can also eliminate problems related to social isolation and loneliness. In addition, other lifestyle changes such as regular workouts, meditation, yoga, and mindful practices can also reduce your stress and provide you mental peace.

The bottom line

Even after following these steps if you still get heart disease, connect with your healthcare provider immediately. They will diagnose and treat your underlying conditions causing heart diseases. We hope you find this article useful for yourself.

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