Matters of The Heart: Cardiovascular Diseases
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How can I modify my lifestyle to prevent Cardiovascular Diseases?

Implementing lifestyle modifications is key to preventing CVDs in Singapore. By adopting healthy behaviors and making positive changes to daily routines, individuals can significantly reduce their risk of developing CVDs. Here are some essential lifestyle modifications for preventing CVDs:

Healthy Eating Habits

Emphasize a balanced diet. Include a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins (such as fish, poultry, legumes, and nuts), and healthy fats (such as avocados, olive oil, and nuts).

Limit saturated and trans fats. Reduce the consumption of fatty meats, full-fat dairy products, fried foods, and commercially baked goods.

Control sodium intake. Limit the use of table salt and processed foods high in sodium to maintain healthy blood pressure.

Minimize added sugars. Limit the intake of sugary beverages, sweets, and desserts, opting for healthier alternatives.

Regular Physical Activity

Engage in aerobic exercises. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity per week. This can include brisk walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, or dancing.

Incorporate strength training. Include strength training exercises at least twice a week to build muscle strength and maintain bone health.

Stay active throughout the day. Avoid prolonged sitting and aim for regular movement breaks to counteract sedentary behavior.

Tobacco and Alcohol Use

Quit smoking. Seek support and resources to quit smoking, as it is a significant risk factor for CVDs.

Avoid secondhand smoke. Minimize exposure to secondhand smoke, as it can also contribute to CVD risk.

Moderate alcohol consumption. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation, following the recommended guidelines (up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men).

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Achieve and maintain a healthy body weight. Strive for a body mass index (BMI) within the healthy range (18.5-24.9). This can be achieved through a combination of a balanced diet and regular physical activity.

Focus on portion control. Be mindful of portion sizes and avoid oversized portions, especially for calorie-dense foods.

Manage Stress

Practice stress management techniques. Engage in activities such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, yoga, or hobbies that help reduce stress levels.

Prioritize self-care. Take time for relaxation, adequate sleep, and engaging in activities that bring joy and promote mental well-being.

Regular Health Check-ups

Schedule regular check-ups with healthcare professionals. Routine check-ups allow for early detection and management of risk factors like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.

Follow prescribed medications. If prescribed medications to manage CVD risk factors, ensure compliance with the recommended treatment plan.

Remember, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a lifelong commitment. By incorporating these lifestyle modifications, individuals in Singapore can reduce their risk of developing CVDs and improve their overall cardiovascular health. It is important to seek guidance from healthcare professionals for personalized advice and support in implementing these changes.