This World Heart Day, adopt these 7 tips for a healthy heart
Dr. Rajeev Rajput, Senior Consultant, Cardiology, Indraprastha Apollo hospitals, New Delhi
Cardiovascular diseases are the most common cause of death in India. World Heart Day is observed to draw attention to various aspects of heart diseases, focus on how we can prevent them and diagnose them early.
Diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking and genetic factors increase the risk of heart diseases. Unhealthy lifestyle habits also cause heart diseases. South-East Asian population is genetically prone to develop heart diseases early, which makes prevention by healthy lifestyle even more important.
However the good part is that some types of heart diseases can be avoided/ delayed by adhering to a good healthy lifestyle.
Here are seven ways one can keep heart diseases at bay-
- Eat Healthy-
It is important to eat healthy well-balanced meals which provide the body with essential nutrients. Consumption of junk foods which are rich in fats, salts, and sugar are harmful for heart. Unfortunately, people consume processed foods without a second thought as it’s easy. Our diet should contain enough calories, proteins, vitamins, minerals and less saturated fats.
- Avoid sedentary lifestyle-
Many people have no regular exercise regime. With the rise in sedentary jobs, regular exercise routines have taken a backseat. Sedentary lifestyle is one of the reasons that there is rise in obesity which in turn leads to diabetes, hypertension and various heart problems.
- Be physically active-
Exercise plays an important part in maintaining the health of the heart. Cardio-exercises which get your heart pumping are really good for strengthening the cardiac muscles. Exercising regularly can be really rewarding for your heart as it helps to lower blood pressure, reduce the ‘bad’ cholesterol and also keeps blood sugar in check.
- Either avoid stress or learn to manage it-
It is a sad fact of life that most of us in urban areas live highly stressful lives. When body is under stress, each organ is affected as hormones such as adrenaline flood the body. From extremely demanding jobs to fast-paced lifestyles, one’s body, especially the heart, is under constant stress which increases the risk for development of heart diseases.
- Have a long and undisturbed sleep-
To make up for the lack of time in the day, people have started to cut down on their sleep time. In fact, giving up on sleep to chase one’s ambitions is touted as a motivational boost. This is terribly harmful for your body, especially your heart. Sleeping for less than 7-8 hours is not good habit and it increases the risk of coronary artery disease.
- No Smoking/ excessive drinking-
Smoking or tobacco consumption in any form is bad for the heart. Smoking is on the rise in developing counties and causes early and bad type of heart disease. Even passive smoking is harmful. Quitting smoking requires motivation and support from family and friends. Nicotine patches and e-cigarettes can be of some use in selected cases.
Even excessive consumption of alcohol can cause development of heart diseases, as well as liver problems.
- Get regular check-ups–
Preventive attitude towards health is important to stay ahead of the various diseases which can bring you down. Heart diseases can be easily picked up in early stages by simple and easily available tests, due to which major complications can be avoided. It is important to take control over one’s health and regularly monitor your vitals by getting regular health check-ups.