There exist 5 simple indicators if you are looking for a heart health checkup. These 5 health indicators can aid in the evaluation of the risk of heart damage arising from clogged arteries, that a healthy individual faces. Early prediction of impending problems can help an individual make changes in their lifestyles so as to improve the health of their heart and potentially negate harmful effects on their heart in the long run.

These 5 indicators to predict your heart health include the following:

  1. Blood pressure: When your heart beats, it pumps and pushes the blood through the arteries to the rest of your body. The force created by the heart in order to pump this blood is known as blood pressure. This pressure created while forcing the blood through the arteries is known as Systolic blood pressure, while the pressure in your arteries at the moment when your heart rests between beats of pumping blood is known as Diastolic blood pressure.

Learn to read and understand blood pressure reading:

  • Systolic pressure:

◦ A normal systolic pressure throws up a reading of 120.

◦ A reading lying between 120 to 129 reflects elevated systolic pressure.

◦ A reading lying between 130 to 139 is indicative of high blood pressure, also referred to as Hypertension.

◦ A systolic blood pressure that reads over 140 or more is indicative of Stage 2 Hypertension

◦ A systolic blood pressure of over 180 is a Hypertensive crisis and needs immediate medical attention, otherwise, it may lead to fatal consequences.

  • Diastolic pressure:

◦ A normal diastolic pressure throws up a reading that is lower than 80

◦ A reading lying between 80 to 89 is indicative of Stage 1 Hypertension.

◦ A diastolic blood pressure that reads over 90 or more is indicative of Stage 2 Hypertension

A blood pressure reading below 120/80 indicates heart health that is not ideal and must serve as a warning sign to take corrective measures in order to avoid future complications and heart disorders.

  1. Exercise: Regular exercise for at least 40 minutes per day for 3 to 4 days every week can have a drastic improvising effect on the health of your heart.

An exercise cardiogram works effectively for heart health test as it helps a doctor understand the health of your heart. Mapping your heart beat with a cardiogram while you run at varying speeds on a treadmill can help your doctor detect any underlying issues with your heart by measuring your resting heartbeat and your heart rate while exercising. These are then compared withthat of a healthy person. Higher readings against the normal expectations can indicate that your heart is working extra hard to pump blood to your body, thus indicating the clogging of your arteries and/or the buildup of plaque on the inner walls of your arteries.

Another exercise that is a great for heart health check is the stair test. This heart scan entails that a healthy individual can climb 4 flights of stairs at a fast pace, in under a minute, without having to stop to collect their breath. If you are unable to do so, it indicates that your heart is not strong enough and you need to exercise more in order to restore it to its best form.

  1. Fruits and Vegetables: An individual’s daily as well as weekly consumption of portions of fruits and vegetables can be a good indicator of their heart health as well as their risk of heart problems. An individual who consumes less than two portions of fruit per day and 3 to 4 portions of vegetables per day is at increased risks of suffering from heart problems.

  2. BMI (body mass index): BMI is a calculated as a ratio of Body fat to height in an individual. The higher your BMI, the more your risk of suffering from a heart problem.

A BMI that is greater than or equal to 30 (falling in the category of obese), as well as a BMI between 25 and 29.9 (overweight), have a higher risk of falling prey to heart problems over the years.

  1. Smoking status: In addition to cancer and respiratory diseases, your smoking status can also predict the health of your heart reasonably accurately. Smoking increases the stiffness of your arteries and blood vessels, thus making it more difficult for them to expand and contract in order to pass along the blood, as your heart pumps it throughout the body. This, again, causes your heart to have to pump harder in order to make the blood pass through the entire body. Studies show that an otherwise healthy individual who has a history of smoking is 8 times more likely to suffer from a heart attack, as compared to another individual who does not smoke.

Apart from keeping a regular check on these five indicators of heart health, it is imperative that individuals who fall in the high risk categories for heart problems, take regular heart health checks in order to keep an eye on the progress of their heart problems and to be able to nip any problems that may arise, in the bud, before they lead to serious or even fatal health consequences.

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