Heart Muscle Health

Heart Muscle Health

Not many people know that your heart is a muscle. Just like other muscles present in your body, it needs constant care as well as maintenance to function at best or optimal level. No doubt, if you are following a healthy lifestyle, it will easily improve the function of your heart, making it strong and even less susceptible to various diseases.

For keeping your heart in the healthy state, you can follow some interesting tips. Below are some of them –

Regular Exercising

Nowadays, many health experts say that sitting is the new smoking. For improving the entire cardiovascular health, AHA (American Heart Association) recommends that one must do at least 150-160 minutes of moderate exercise each week or at least 75 minutes each week of hardcore exercising.

Individuals who are suffering from high blood pressure and even cholesterol need to do about 30 minutes of aerobic exercises. They must do it at least three to four times each week, so that they can simply reduce the chances of getting stroke or heart attack. You can do exercises which are simple like cycling or walking or even something more intense like HIIT(high-intensity interval training) or running. Here it doesn’t matter what kind of exercise you do if it keeps you moving.

Maintaining A Healthy Diet

Various studies show that your diet and heart health are somewhat related to each other. If you are sticking to a healthy heart related diet, then you are strengthening the muscles of your heart. Do you know what a heart-healthy diet consists of? It consists of various kinds of vegetables and fruits, whole grains, fish, skinless poultry, and low-fat kind of dairy products.

You can even limit the amount of trans fat, sodium, and saturated fat that you are consuming. Plus cutting back on foods and beverages along with added sugar and limiting the intake of alcohol will be good. If you are smoking, you need to quit. Most importantly, you must know the proper amount of calories that you are drinking as well as eating to maintain the weight. If you are trying to lose weight, it is important that you control the portion sizes and even work to balance the intake of calories along with the physical activities. These will help to achieve a healthy body weight. The best part is that you speak with your doctor or physician before starting to do any weight loss program.

Managing Stress

Anxiety and stress can literally create havoc on the human body. It can cause any kind of disease ranging from asthma to high blood pressure to even IBS(Irritable Bowel Syndrome). As per various research, your body will start to react to stress through the release of adrenaline. This is a hormone which can cause your breathing and heart rate to speed up and even the blood pressure to rise.

Even there are chances that chronic stress will even increase the damage to the artery walls, thereby putting a huge risk for your heart disease and leading to stroke. You need to keep in mind that managing your stress will help you to be in more control of your life. It will really provide you a greater sense of wellbeing. There are certain techniques like meditation and relaxation which is like taking a break from stress. You can engage in hobbies like knitting, reading, and gardening.


There are various symptoms based on which you can identify the heart disease –

1) Heart Disease in Your Blood (a.k.a Atherosclerotic Disease)

One thing that you need to keep in mind or know is that cardiovascular disease symptoms will be different for women and men. Like for instance, men are more likely to suffer or get chest pain. In case of women, they are more likely to have other kinds of symptoms like chest discomfort, which is like nausea, shortness of breath and extreme fatigue.

The symptoms consist of –

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest tightness, chest pain, chest discomfort and chest pressure
  • Numbness, pain, weakness, and even sometimes coldness in your arms or legs, which happens when the blood vessels present in those part of the body are narrowed.
  • Pain the jaw, neck, upper abdomen, throat, and even back.

Keep in mind that you won’t be diagnosed with cardiovascular disease until you have signs of heart attack, stroke, angina, heart failure, etc. Keep in mind that it is necessary to watch out for any kind of cardiovascular symptoms and if it is quite dangerous, discuss with the doctor. With regular evaluations, you can find out the symptoms of cardiovascular diseases.

2) Symptoms Of Heart Disease Caused by Abnormal Heartbeats (Which Is Called as Arrhythmias)

Now a heart arrhythmia is nothing but an abnormal heartbeat. In this case, it is that your heart will beat too fast, too irregularly and slowly. The symptom of the arrhythmia consists of –

  • Racing heartbeat (called as tachycardia)
  • Fluttering in your chest
  • Slow heartbeat (called as bradycardia)
  • Chest pain or a huge discomfort
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Light-headedness
  • Fainting (syncope) or near fainting

3) Heart Disease Symptoms Due to Heart Defects

There can be sometimes serious congenital heart defects like the defects with which you were born with. This usually is quite evident as soon as you give birth. Heart defect symptoms especially in kids consists of –

  • Blue skin colour or pale Gray (cyanosis)
  • In an infant, the shortness of the breath while feeding can lead to poor weight gain.
  • Swelling of the abdomen, legs, and even the areas around the eyes.

Now an important thing to keep in mind is that less serious congenital heart defects won’t be diagnosed until in the childhood stage or while adulthood. There are various symptoms and signs you must keep in mind like, and which are sometimes immediately life-threatening. Some of them are –

  • Swelling of the ankles, hands, and feet
  • Easily getting tired during activity or exercising
  • Easily getting short of breath while activity or exercising

Steps For Improving One’s Heart in Natural Manner

The following are the steps to follow –

Spending Less Time Sitting & More Time in Moving

Most doctors and physicians feel that people have two doctors in their left leg and right leg. This is really true. Hundreds of studies have proven that regular exercising and walking can have a profound and various nice health benefits. Majority of studies conducted show that regular physical activity will be one of the necessary things you can do to make your health fit and fine. Naturally these can help in –

  1. Controlling weight
  2. Improving body composition (which is fat-to-muscle ratio)]
  3. Decreasing risk of heart disease
  4. Lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of getting hypertension
  5. Lowering blood sugar and reducing the chance of getting type 2 diabetes and various metabolic syndrome.
  6. Reducing risk of getting cancers
  7. Reducing stress
  8. Strength bones
  9. Improving your ability to do daily activity and preventing falls
  10. Improving sleep
  11. Increasing chances of living longer

Types Of Exercise to Follow

There are three types of exercises to follow and the combination of all the three exercises can be added to the daily part of your activities. They are –

  • Aerobic (which relates to cardiorespiratory): Daily, doing a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise and somewhat an optimal minute of 60 to 90 along with alternate modern intensity training which is vigorous.
  • Resistance (which is strengthening): Here it is all about doing full body resistance routine. This needs to be done for about three to four times each week.
  • Flexibility (which is stretching): One needs to do stretching exercises each day. This will help in enhancing the whole flexibility and ability to exercise more freely.

Losing Excess Body Fat. Particularly Belly Fat

When our body weight increases, in the same manner, does the risk for plague gets created in our arteries as well as heart. This leads to heart attack. Now being overweight is often linked to various kinds of risk factors that is related to heart diseases. These consists of high blood pressure, bad kinds of cholesterol and type 2 diabetes.

Do you know obesity is often related or leads to heart failure? This is a serious condition and one which makes the heart incapable of sending required amount of blood to satisfy the daily needs of the body. There are various studies which clearly show that belly fat is very much dangerous. Frankly, in certain studies it was shown that pot belly individuals who were quite healthy and in normal weight has the high risk of dying.

Fat in the belly won’t just sit there. It takes up a lot of space. Also, it will pump out chemicals like cytokines. This will trigger chronic inflammation all around the body. Now this is a serious problem as the chronic inflammation is one of the major factors that is linked to obesity and to various dangerous diseases especially heart diseases.

Also, the fat cells in the belly will produce chemicals, which even consist of steroid hormones. This will easily make you to gain more fat. Frankly, this is a vicious cycle. Hence, the more belly fat you have, the fatter storing hormones you will end up producing and it will be much harder for you to lose weight.

There are various hormonal horrors. See, when the belly fat is reaching the abdominal obesity levels (which is a waste more than 35 inches for women and 40 inches for men), then another major fat storage hormone called insulin will get negatively affected. This will create a huge amount of problems for the metabolism of the body.

There are more hormonal horrors. When belly fat reaches abdominal obesity levels (a waist greater than 35 inches in women and 40 inches in men), another very important fat-storage hormone called insulin is often negatively affected, creating more problems for our metabolism.

  • Things you need to do in this situation-Maintain a waist circumference (measured horizontally at the belly button) of less than 35 inches in women and less than 40 inches in men.
  • Achieve/maintain a BMI (body mass index) between 18.5 and 25. Your BMI is a measure of body fat based on height and weight.

Lower Non-HDL Cholesterol

For years, doctors believed that that lowering LDL (often called the “bad” cholesterol) was the primary treatment target for reducing cardiovascular events. And certainly, improving LDL is still very important.

However, there is a huge change now. This so-called tactic is now growing consensus that non-HDL cholesterol is a better predictor of cardiovascular disease risk because non-HDL contains not only LDL but other “bad” particles that contribute to the build-up of cholesterol-filled plaques in the artery wall.

You need to follow certain procedures. First thing is to lower non-HDL cholesterol to 80 or below for people with clear evidence of coronary artery disease, or 100 or below for healthy individuals wanting to prevent the development of cardiovascular disease.

Avoid Smoking Beginning to Live

Did you know that in the U.S. alone, tobacco kills the equivalent of three jumbo jets full of people crashing every day, with no survivors?

  • Smoking
  • Breathing problems
  • Lung cancer
  • Emphysema
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney cancer

Moreover, the science is strong and consistent that when you smoke, the people around you, especially children, are at risk for developing serious health problems.

Now there are certain things you can do to cope up with smoking. One of them is that if you smoke, talk to your doctor about various scientifically proven ways to quit smoking, including prescription medications as well as nicotine replacement therapies in the form of patches, gums, sprays, inhalers, and lozenges.


Your heart is one of the major organs. Keeping it healthy and fine, will assist you in living a longer life. Doing regular exercise and physical activities will keep you in good health. Go ahead and have an active life.


Saravavan Nadarajan (Vanan)

Vanan, fitness expert and leader at EzFit Singapore, specializes in holistic training—home-based, boot camps, and corporate fitness—with over a decade of industry experience.