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monitor heart health at home

How to monitor heart health at home?

Living a long and healthy life requires your attention and of course, monitoring your heart health. With approximately 17.9 million fatalities per year due to cardiovascular disease, it is one of the main causes of death globally. But, the good news is that you can effectively maintain your heart health by routinely monitoring important health parameters at home. The vital signs of heart health monitoring—blood pressure, blood sugar, diabetes control, cholesterol, heart rate, pulse rate, physical activity, body mass index (BMI), and weight management—will all be covered in this blog.

Monitoring Your Blood Pressure

One important measure of your heart health is your blood pressure. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, can result in major health problems like heart attacks and strokes. Globally, 1.13 billion individuals have hypertension, which is a serious health issue.

How to Carry It Out

  • Get a Trusted Monitor: Purchase an automatic blood pressure monitor of superior quality. Make sure it is also verified by medical experts.
  • With your feet flat on the ground and your back supported, take a comfortable seat. Take a five-minute break and then take a reading.
  • Place your arm on a table such that the cuff is at heart level for proper positioning.
  • Make Several Readings: After taking two to three readings separated by one minute, average them.

Ideal BP Numbers

  • Typical: Under 120/80 mmHg
  • Increased: 120–129 / < 80 mmHg
  • Stage 1 of hypertension: 130–139/80–89 mmHg
  • Stage 2 hypertension:  140 mmHg and higher/90 and higher

Monitoring your Blood Sugar Levels

Keeping track of your blood sugar is quite important, especially if you’re at risk for diabetes or are currently in management. Diabetes affects 537 million people globally, and unfortunately up to 101 million Indians are contributing to these numbers making India the diabetes capital of the world.  So, it becomes even more important to monitor your blood sugar levels as it greatly raises the risk of heart disease.

How to Carry It Out

  • Get a Glucometer: A useful tool for determining your blood sugar levels is a glucometer.
  • Check blood sugar levels before meals, two hours after eating, and right before bed for diabetics.
  • To identify trends, keep a journal of your readings and share it with your healthcare practitioner.

Ideal Blood Sugar Numbers

  • Fasting Blood Sugar: 80–130 mg/dL for diabetics; less than 90 mg/dL for non-diabetics
  • After meals: Less than 140 mg/dL for people without diabetes, less than 180 mg/dL for those with diabetes

The Importance of Diabetes Management

Effective diabetes management helps avert heart disease and other issues. This calls for blood sugar monitoring, eating well, exercising, and using prescription drugs when necessary.

How to Carry It Out

  • A nutritious diet should emphasize whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and healthy fats. Steer clear of processed and sugary food.
  • Try to get in at least 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise.
  • To keep an eye on your health, schedule regular visits with your physician.

Monitoring Your Cholesterol Levels

High cholesterol levels may cause plaque accumulation in the arteries, hence elevating the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Did you know worldwide, 38% of adults suffer from high cholesterol?

How to Carry It Out

  • Use at-home cholesterol test kits that require a blood sample taken with a finger prick.
  • Regularly check your cholesterol levels as recommended by the medical professional you see.
  • To discuss with your healthcare professional, keep a record of your readings.

Ideal Cholesterol Numbers

  • Total cholesterol: Less than 200 mg/dL
  • LDL (Bad) Cholesterol: Less than 100 mg/dL
  • HDL (Good) Cholesterol: 60 mg/dL and higher
  • Triglycerides: Less than 150 mg/dL

Monitoring Your Heart Rate

Your total heart health and fitness level can be recognized from your resting heart rate. An increased risk of cardiovascular disease may be associated with a higher resting heart rate.

How to Carry It Out

  • Get a Heart Rate Monitor: You can monitor your heart rate with devices such as smartwatches and fitness trackers.
  • Manual Check: To check your pulse, place your middle and index fingers on your neck or wrist. Determine how many beats there are in 60 seconds.

Ideal Numbers

  • Resting Heart Rate: 60-100 beats per minute (bpm)
  • Athletes: 40-60 bpm

Why Exercise Is Important for Heart Health

Exercise increases blood circulation and strengthens the heart. It also aids with blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight management but as per WHO globally 1 in 4 adults do not meet the global recommended levels of physical activity.

How to carry it out

  • Get a FitnessTracker: Keep track of your daily steps and active minutes.
  • Set Achievable Goals: Aim for 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week.
  • Incorporate Strength Training: Perform muscle-strengthening activities twice a week.
  • Types of Exercises: Aerobics, walking, jogging, swimming, cycling.
  • Strength Training: Weight lifting, resistance bands, body-weight exercises.

Monitoring Your Body Mass Index (BMI): 

BMI is a useful tool for determining your weight category. It is important to note that obesity affects over 650 million adults worldwide and greatly raises the risk of heart disease.

How to Calculate Your BMI: 

  • Use the formula BMI = weight (kg) / height (m2) or an online calculator. Also, the easiest way to know your ideal weight is 100 minus your height in CMs.
  • Underweight: BMI < 18.5
  • Normal Weight: BMI 18.5-25
  • Overweight: 26–29.9 BMI
  • Obese: BMI of 30 or above

Weight Management

How to Carry It Out

  • Frequent Weigh-Ins: Try to weigh yourself every day at the same time, preferably in the morning.
  • Eat Well: Pay attention to well-balanced meals that are served in the right portions.
  • Remain Active: Regular exercise promotes muscle maintenance and calorie burning.
  • Hydrate: To help your metabolism, sip on plenty of water.
  • Seek Assistance: Speak with a dietitian or enroll in a weight-management program.
  • Establishing Objectives: Pay attention to sustainable lifestyle adjustments.

In summary

keeping an eye on your heart health while at home doesn’t have to be difficult. You may take control of your heart health and identify possible problems early by routinely testing your blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol levels, heart rate, pulse rate, physical activity, BMI, and weight. Remember that minor adjustments made regularly can result in big gains. Always seek individual guidance from the best heart specialists in Delhi.

Remain vigilant, knowledgeable, and heart-healthy!

 

 

References:

https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/hypertension

https://diabetesatlas.org/#:~:text=Diabetes%20around%20the%20world%20in%202021%3A,%2D%20and%20middle%2Dincome%20countries

https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/health/31-million-more-indians-became-diabetic-between-2019-2021-says-study/article66949970.ece#:~:text=As%20per%20the%20study%20in,in%20the%20country%20had%20hypercholesterolaemia

https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/obesity-and-overweight 

https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/physical-activity