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Men: Strengthen Your Heart

Late last night, a 30-year-old acquaintance of mine died in his sleep due to a massive cardiac arrest, leaving behind a distraught wife and a one-year-old daughter. The news shook me up, as it undoubtedly did hundreds of people who knew him, liked him, loved him, or hated him. An entire generation of 25-35 year olds recoiled in shock and terror, stunned and saddened by the news, grateful that death chose to pass them by, this time, and immediately started rethinking their lifestyles. 

The sad part is, although heart diseases are preventable, not many people take the necessary precautions until it is too late. All it takes is discipline, and leading a healthy lifestyle. Perhaps it is time you started rethinking your lifestyle, and made a few changes. 

Reduce alcohol consumption and quit smoking

You need not give up alcohol entirely. In fact, studies suggest that drinking a glass of wine a day actually strengthens the heart. Not so with smoking, and it is best to kick this habit entirely. Sunflower seeds reduce cravings, so a week before quitting, start eating a handful of sunflower seeds everyday. 

Drink in moderation, which means no more than two drinks a day. And no, this does NOT mean that you lay off drinks the entire week, only to consume 14 drinks on Saturday night. Binge drinking can kill you, and if it doesn't kill you, it will definitely cause harm to your system. 

Hug more

Hug your loved ones today, and everyday. Studies show that those people who had a lot of loving, physical contact with their families, who touched and were touched lovingly, on a regular basis, suffered from fewer heart problems. 

Eat garlic 

The benefits of garlic are significant, and beyond dispute. Garlic is very, very good for you, so eat several cloves a day, in whichever form suits you. 

Maintain weight and exercise 

Maintain an ideal weight and try to incorporate at least 30 minutes of casual exercise activity in a day, if you do not have an exercise routine, and if you have a sedentary lifestyle. Do this by walking a short distance instead of taking the car, doing housework, taking the stairs. Every morning, before getting out of bed, raise your legs in the air 10 times. Click here for more exercise tips.  

Reduce stress

Stress is one of the major factors contributing to a heart problem. Try and identify stress factors and if possible, see if you can work on negating them. You may not be able to reduce work factors, but can you do something about Do you get unduly stressed when you have to wait for your wife to get ready for an evening out? What is it worth to be on time for this party? Is it worth your life? 

However, just because you are stressed out, either for person or professional reasons, doesn't mean that you are endangering your heart. Japanese are just as stressed out as Indians, but far fewer Japanese fall victim to heart diseases. Why is this so? Because other factors, such as diet, exercise, strengthen their hearts. 

Eat seaweed

Seaweeds go a long way in strengthening the heart, and are a regular part of the oriental diet. The taste may not appeal, but then you already know that most things good for you taste bad! 

Get rest

When you are unwell and running a temperature, don't go to work. Much as you'd like to earn that extra buck, your body is begging for rest, and if you don't rest at this time, you are straining your heart. Get at least 8 hours of sleep everyday. However, everyone's body is different, if 7 hours of sleep work for you, that's fine too. By now you should have identified how much sleep your body needs, for you to feel fresh the next day. Do not deprive your body of this sleep. Your body is not a machine so do not treat it as one. 

To add your views on this article or read other comments, click here.

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