Prevent congestive heart failure with some lifestyle

Prevent congestive heart failure with some lifestyle

Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a serious health condition that results from fluid returning to the lungs, abdomen, and lower extremities because your heart does not pump blood efficiently through your body. People who suffer from certain health conditions are at risk of developing CHF. Making some lifestyle changes will help prevent the development of congestive heart failure so that you can live a more productive and longer life.

Step 1 to start working on a guaranteed healthy heart

  • Exercise regularly
  • Limit your salt intake
  • Adopt a healthy diet in general
  • Stop smoking
  • Reduce your alcohol consumption
  • Manage your blood pressure
  • Take your medications
  1. Exercise regularly: One of the most important ways to prevent congestive heart failure is to exercise. Exercise strengthens the heart muscles by making it pump harder and more efficiently. Staying active at least three times a week for half an hour will improve the efficiency of your heart.
  • Start with low impact exercise such as walking three times a week for half an hour and yoga once a week for one hour. Walking is a cardiovascular exercise that will make the heart pump which will help strengthen the heart muscles and yoga will relax the body and mind while reducing your stress level.
  • If you have not exercised in a long time, it is best to consult your doctor for a medical examination.
  1. Limit your salt intake: Sodium is the enemy when it comes to diet. Always remember that water follows sodium, which produces more fluid to fill your lungs and other parts of your body. Here is almost everything you need to know:
  • Limit your salt intake to 1500 mg or 1.5 grams a day. One teaspoon of salt contains approximately 2.5 grams of sodium, so you should only consume less than one teaspoon of salt per day.
  • Avoid adding salt to food while cooking or at the table. Learn to use spices such as rosemary, oregano, basil, and parsley together with onion and garlic to substitute salt.
  • Avoid eating foods high in sodium, such as chips, canned goods, instant noodles, and sauces. If a food is processed, it is most likely high in sodium.
  • Choose products with the labels “without salt” or “low in sodium”. Read the food labels and check the sodium content. “No salt” or “sodium free” means that a particular food has less than 5 mg of sodium per serving. Those products that are “low in sodium” have 140 mg of sodium per serving and therefore should be limited to only 4 servings per day.
  • You can also check the daily percentage value on food labels. If it is 5% or less, then the food is considered low in sodium.
  1. Adopt a healthy diet in general: In addition to limiting the intake of sodium in your diet, it is also important to have a healthy diet in general. Here are some suggestions to decrease the risk of heart failure:
  • Simple carbohydrates such as sugars and starches with a high glycemic load should be avoided. Instead, it consumes more sources of high-fiber carbohydrates, such as whole grains, bread, and beans. You should also avoid drinks with high sugar content such as soft drinks and sugary juices.
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables. The recommendation is to consume 1 to 2 and a half cups of fruit and 1 to 4 cups of vegetables per day.
  • Avoid saturated and trans fat in your diet. These come from dairy products such as milk and butter, animal oils and processed meats. Instead, consume foods rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats such as vegetable oil, olive oil and fatty fish such as salmon and tuna.
  1. Stop smoking: Smoking is the leading cause of heart disease that leads to congestive heart failure. Smoking causes the arteries in your heart to shrink and block with a plaque. If you stop smoking, you will significantly reduce the risk of CHF.
  • It is estimated that smoking increases the risk of heart disease by 2-3 times. On the other hand, smoking cessation results in a risk reduction of 60% at 3 years with almost half of the benefits during the first 3 to 6 months after quitting.
  • Your doctor can help you quit smoking. You can prescribe a nicotine patch or other medications to help you beat the habit. Let your family know too. They can be a great source of support.
  1. Reduce your alcohol consumption: Drinking a glass of wine at night before bedtime is good for the heart, but too much alcohol causes the exact opposite: this result in damaged arteries of the heart putting you at risk of suffering a CHF. And it is one glass per day; Not 7 blow glasses during the week.

    Stop smoking
    Image source:Google image
  2. Manage your blood pressure: As little as a 7 mmHg increase in blood pressure above normal increases the risk of heart failure by 27%. An increase in blood pressure puts stress on the heart, as it must pump against high blood pressure inside the arteries. Therefore, it is important to keep blood pressure as low or normal as possible.
  • If you are over 60 years of age, you should try to reduce blood pressure to less than 150/90 mmHg. Those who are less than 60 years old should try to have a blood pressure less than 140/90 mmHg.
  • It has been shown that for every 10 kg or 22 pounds lost, blood pressure falls around 5 to 20 mmHg.
  • Moderation of alcohol consumption helps lower blood pressure from 2 to 4 mmHg.
  • Perform regular aerobic physical activity, such as brisk walking or running at least 30 minutes per day, 3 to 4 days a week. This has been shown to help lower blood pressure from 4 to 9 mmHg.
  • If lifestyle interventions are not enough to control your blood pressure, then medications will be needed. Your doctor will prescribe the best antihypertensive medication appropriate for your case.
  1. Take your medications: Keep in mind that if your condition such as hypertension or diabetes is handled properly, then the chances of developing heart failure as a dreaded complication will be reduced. For example, taking antihypertensive medications will help you control your hypertension and thus help prevent congestive heart failure.
  • However, it is important to emphasize that you should not take any prescription medication on your own, without the guidance of a doctor. Keep in mind that there are some medications that can even induce heart failure so it is always best to seek medical advice first.

Step2: Understanding the disease

  1. Your heart is your body’s pump that continuously pumps oxygen and nutrient-rich blood through your body with a certain force and speed (known as an ejection fraction). Congestive heart failure occurs when the heart muscle weakens and becomes slow. When your heart is functioning properly, blood is pumped efficiently from the heart to the arteries and then to the organs of your body. Blood returns to the heart through the veins to receive oxygen from the lungs and back to the heart. Congestive heart failure interrupts this continuous cycle by causing the blood to recede and cause congestion in the lungs and other organs.
  2. Take into account the signs and symptoms of CHF: Here is a list of symptoms you should consider if you are worried about getting CHF:
  • Difficulty breathing when doing some effort or lying down. If you have to sleep with at least two pillows or need to sleep while sitting, it is likely that you are developing congestive heart failure.
  • Cough
  • Edema (swelling that occurs mostly in the legs, feet, and hands)
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue: Fatigue, weakness, and cough are also evidently symptoms of other diseases. Before rushing, visit your doctor for a full evaluation.


  1. Visit your doctor regularly: Regular follow-up visits are vital for your doctor to control the performance of your heart.
  2. A good breakfast would be a hard-boiled egg, a piece of whole-grain toast, a spoonful of unsalted sunflower butter, a little sugar-free jam and half a cup of unsweetened orange juice.
  3. Examples of a healthy daily diet:
  • A good lunch would be a cup of apple slices, 85 grams (3 ounces) of skinless chicken breast, an integral roll and a green salad with olive oil vinaigrette.
  • A good dinner would be 150 grams (5 ounces) of baked salmon, a cup of boiled carrots and broccoli, 1/2 cup of brown rice and 1/2 cup of low-fat frozen yogurt.
  • A good snack would be a banana, 4 pretzels without salt and half a cup of unsweetened orange juice.


Shital regularly contributes health-related topics and healthy living ideas to this blog and other health blogs around the web. When she’s not busy working with the jobs, you will find her undertaking many of her own health-related topics and healthy living ideas! She has a lot of dreams. She works hard to fulfill her dreams. She loves to share her ideas, tricks, tips and information by blogging. She also works at CYONWO, a company that committed to helping businesses with online marketing.

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