Don’t let your Heart Attack you.
Heart disease has been increasingly on the rise due to sedentary lifestyles, stress, poor eating habits, genetics and a lot of other factors. Let us see how we can monitor and mitigate a heart condition and a heart attack.
Your pulse can be a quick indicator of your heart’s condition:
Let us see how:
A persons normal Resting Heart rate is between 60 -100 bpm (beats per minute),
The chart below gives an indication of what you resting heart rate means:
Then your next question would be how can you measure your Resting Heart rate?
There are various types of Heart rate monitors available in the market as follows:-
1) Wrist band type
2) Chest strap heart rate monitors
3) Mobile app based monitors.
Let’s talk about how each type of monitor works.
1) Wrist band type
These are worn on the wrist like any watch. They consist of firstly an LED (Light Emitting Diode) which illuminates your blood vessels and an optical sensor which detects the number of time blood is pumped through your capillaries.
These monitors might have integrated with them various other features like number of steps, distance travelled (integrated with GPS), etc.
2) Chest Strap Heart Rate Monitor:-
This consists of two parts, firstly the transmitter which is a band place around the chest and a receiver which would be a wrist band.
This system is very similar to an ECG (Electrocardiogram) machine. The receiver detects the electrical impulses used to trigger the heart muscles and transmits the same to the receiver, on which the heart rate is displayed.
3) Mobile based apps:-
There are various mobile based apps available for Android and IOs devices. Some of these apps require you to place your finger on the camera lens of your device. The app requires you to be very still else their accuracy decreases.
However another basic and easy way is to check for the pulse on the inside of your wrist and either count the beats for a whole minute or (as the doctors do) count for 30 seconds, and then multiply the value you get by 2.
Inflammation and heart disease.
Certain irritants like cigarette smoke, High Blood pressure, High cholesterol tend to damage the inner lining of the arteries. If this continues over time the cells of these lining get inflamed. The LDL Cholesterol (Bad Cholesterol) tend to stick to this inflammation and if built up to a very large extent can eventually block the artery causing a heart attack.
Lifestyle change is the biggest factor in preventing this unwanted occurrence. Let’s discuss a few ways this risk can be reduced.
1) Quitting smoking:
Why is it that so much emphasis is given to quitting smoking?
Let’s discuss this with respect to heart disease. Firstly cigarette smoke causes the buildup of certain fatty substances called plaque in the smoker’s blood vessels. Next it causes the hardening of the arteries. Also it reduces the HDL (the good cholesterol) and increases blood pressure. All these factors go against a healthy heart and blood flow system.
2) Maintaining a healthy blood pressure:
The ideal Blood pressure readings are 120/80. The first number represents the systolic and second the diastolic in mm Hg. You can view the chart to have an idea of what the numbers mean.
Ensuring you are active and get regular exercise goes a long way in controlling heart disease. Cardio workouts are believed to be the best for a healthy heart. You can find more information about exercising and starting out on an exercise program out in my other posts
4) Keeping your cholesterol in check:
When we talk about Cholesterol this includes LDL (think Lacks character – Bad Cholesterol), HDL (think Healthy – Good Cholesterol) and triglycerides (fats carried in the blood).
There are a few factors that control the ratio of LDL and HDL including age, production of Cholesterol by the liver and absorption by the Intestines.
The screening test conducted for Cholesterol is called the Lipid profile test, which consists of checking for Total cholesterol, LDL, HDL and Triglycerides.
LDL greater than 190 is considered high. However, the higher the HDL the better is your report.
5) Reducing stress:
A lot of the overdramatized movies show a person who has had a stressful time dying of a heart attack. However this can actually be true. I have talked about stress and how to reduce the same in this article, “Is Stress Killing you?”
6) Watch what you eat:
When I say watch what you eat I mean the following:
a) Reduce portion size – have more frequent meals.
b) Include a large amount of fruits and vegetables in your daily food intake.
c) Include good oils obtained from nuts, fish like Salmon and tuna, and Olive oil in your diet.
d) Limit things like red meats and trans fats (deep fried fast foods, chips, etc.)
e) Avoid excess sugar, salt, alcohol.
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Hope this article was useful and Informative. Now, Let’s work towards a healthy world.
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Also, consider telling me your experiences or if you have used any heart rate monitors, in the comments section at the bottom.