3 Things to do for a happy heart

3 Things to do for a happy heart

More than halfway through and February 2018 has proven to have - quite literally - painted the town red with love and luck.

Valentine’s Day on February 14.

Lunar New Year on February 16.

The festivities then stretch to March and April for the Easter holidays, where alongside the solemnity of Semana Santa the typical Filipino goes on an endless series of family reunions, barkada outings, and out of town trips. Depending on the school calendar, this could be accompanied in March or June by graduations, graduation dinners and graduation parties.

Filipinos spend the year celebrating or observing one holiday or another, adding the All Saints Day homecomings, Christmas, and New Year’s to the list. What is the common denominator of these holidays? The food.

All things considered, this really shouldn’t be a surprise given how much Filipinos love to eat. February has been filled with endless online lists of “Where to spend your Valentines date” while the rest of the year has the Top 10 lists of everywhere with a booming food scene. Outside the net, family gatherings mean lola, tita or mommy’s force-feeding, and barkada and date nights have expanded to food parks, wine bars, and in recent years, very massive buffets.

Unfortunately – and despite healthy eating becoming increasingly trendy - many of the food we eat an wreak havoc to our health.

Take the Valentine season for example. There is such as thing as a Bacon Bouquet - literally replacing your usual flower bouquet with bacon - that has been heavily promoted as "male" version of a a Valentine bouquet.

Food like bacon, while okay for every now and then, can cause serious health problems when consumed regularly in large quantities. And given the lifestyle of today’s youth, these health problems are no longer the exclusive concern of baby boomers and older. Alarmingly, those as young as twenty are vulnerable to high blood pressure and heart problems.

All that aside, how exactly can you keep you heart healthy? Here are three suggestions:

 

1. Keep a close watch on your diet

This is probably the most obvious – avoid foods rich in saturated fat, limit sodium, cholesterol, and artificial sugar intake, monitor consumption of red meat and eat more white meat and foods rich in O-mega oils, eat whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Unfortunately, living in an environment peppered with cheap and filling McDonalds, Jollibees, and Burger Kings at every corner, this could be difficult to consistently do.

The advantage of healthy living increasingly becoming popular is that restaurants and food stalls specializing in healthy, organic meals such as Salad Stop, Go Salads, and Wholesome Table have popped up.  For those strapped for budget, there has been an increased availability of healthy yet tasty alternative dishes such as “fake meat” tofu and veggie burgers.  Elsewhere, a walk through the supermarket will reveal shelves packed with cassava chips, baked potato chips, and the like.

 

2. Live an active lifestyle

Millennials are known to have a sense of adventure. Young people today climb mountains - literally - while others bike their way past the Metro into Tagaytay, Subic or further afield. Camping trips to Fortune Island, Kalanggaman Island and relatively isolated destinations closer to the mainland are becoming commonplace. To this effect, a good chunk of this generation is made fit by this. 

In parallel to this however, living in a world of significant technological advancements have encouraged the cultivation of a sedentary lifestyle – online banking, online shopping, online everything means that one does not need to leave the house or even stand up to be productive. Possible result? Obesity-triggered heart attacks and an array of other illnesses caused in part by the combination of immobility and unhealthy food intake.

Beginning an active lifestyle could be as simple as foregoing the use of the elevator whenever possible in favor of using the stairs, walking instead of driving or taking an Uber for destinations within a 20-minute distance, and taking the time two to three times a week to commit to a physical activity such as jogging or swimming.

 

3. Regularly consult your doctor

As the old adage goes, prevention is better cure.

This has particular value in heart problems because most severe heart diseases are treatable with early detection and most heart diseases are linked to a family history of past heart problems. Regular consultations with a physician will allow for early detection and prevention through as long as you follow preventive measures.. 

But financial constraints may put a damper tho this, especially for individuals without a regular employment status or working outside the traditional employment framework. Fortunately, Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) now offer prepaid health plans available to a varied array of budgets, especially catered towards specific health needs and preferences, so that individuals can avail of non-negligible medical advice with regards to ensuring their cardiovascular health.

 

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Here at Maria Health, we believe that everyone should have the means to ensure their health amidst a high-stress environment, financial limitations, and other constraints, which is why we partner with the country’s top healthcare providers to give you the healthcare plans catered to your specific needs.

Get covered now and ensure your health across the seasons!

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