In our everyday lives, we are constantly struggling to keep pressures at bay, to maintain an equilibrium between work and home, and to live heathy and happy. A healthy lifestyle is key to our good health and happy heart.
According to a DNA article, ‘In India, more than 17 Lakh people die every year due to heart diseases and by 2030, the figure is expected to increase with 2.3 crore deaths. According to the Indian Heart Association, 50% of all heart attacks in Indians occur under 50 years of age and 25% of all heart attacks in Indians occur under 40 years of age. Population in cities is three times more prone to heart attacks than people living in the village.’
This does not augur well for us and reflects our lack of commitment to a heart healthy lifestyle. Having a heart healthy lifestyle is our responsibility so, commit to this by following the steps below:
- Learn your health history: Understand and know your risks. Discuss with your family and doctor about how your health has been, your family history of heart attacks and strokes and the factors leading to it. First step towards taking care of yourself is accepting and understanding your health and the state your health is in.
- Eat those vegetables: Your health largely depends on the food you eat. A healthy diet can control other factors such as cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes and obesity that can lead to heart attack. A well-balanced meal with the right amount of carbohydrates, proteins and fats is essential to living a healthy lifestyle. Have food rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals. Avoid refined sugars and carbohydrates or have them moderately. Concentrate on nuts, legumes, lentils, vegetables, fruits and fish. If you follow a healthy diet, half of your battle is won.
- Move your body: Being fit is good for your heart and blood vessels. Studies have proven that a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate to intense exercise per week is enough to lead a healthy life. Running, cycling and swimming are all good for your cardio. Even simple household chores like cleaning your floor, chopping vegetables, moderate movement at home constitute as exercise. The key is to not be sedentary. It is also said that to reach your healthy goal, we should aim for more than 7500 steps every day and a modicum of exercise. Being active goes a long way in keeping you healthy and your heart beating well!
- Keep your weight in check: Obesity is one of the factors that is responsible for a weak heart. Reach your optimum weight and keep at it. Regular exercise and healthy food habits is a sure shot way to keep obesity at bay. Consult your nutritionist to understand food habits and what your daily intake should be.
- Quit that butt: According to a WHO report, more than ten million die in India due to tobacco each year. The first step towards a better lifestyle is to quit smoking if you are addicted to tobacco. There is no short cut to it. Avoid smoking, even second-hand smoking. If anyone around you smokes, encourage the person to quit smoking too. Seek help if you find it tough to quit. Your heart will thank you for it.
- Say Cheers moderately: When you do anything in excess, it can create problems. While drinking moderately is accepted, too much alcohol can increase the risk of stroke, high or low blood pressure, produce irregular heartbeats and sometimes can even be fatal. Limit your intake to no more than two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women. The key is in moderation and understanding your limits.
- Don’t worry, be happy: With our hectic lifestyles and schedules, we often forget to take a pause and breathe, often leading to depression and stress. Stress increases the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. It is important to manage stress in our day to day lives. Deep breathing and meditation help in managing stress. If it seems unmanageable, do not hesitate to consult your doctor or counsellor.
- Take your medicines regularly: Do not try to self-medicate, always seek professional help to understand your medicine dosage and needs. If taking any medicines for cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes, take them regularly and consult your doctor if you think they are not helping. Do not hesitate to ask questions to your doctor to understand the importance of taking the medicines.
Our super specialist doctors at www.boardofdoctors are always available to guide you in your journey to living a heart healthy life. All you need to do is book an appointment at www.boardofdoctors.com and our expert doctors will be there for a hassle-free consultation.
Doctors – cardiologist, dietician, counsellor