Cardiovascular diseases are our country’s most significant cause of mortality and morbidity because although much has been said and written about prevention and a healthy lifestyle, few people make the necessary changes to keep the heart healthy and ticking. Since cardiac issues can happen in a second, they are also termed ‘silent killers’ as the impact of the disease can be fatal even with a healthy individual.
In addition, the urban lifestyle and stress people encounter daily make it necessary to adopt lifestyle changes so that heart health is not compromised in any manner. In an interview with HT Lifestyle on World Heart Day, Dr Haresh Mehta, Consultant Interventional Cardiologist at SL Raheja Hospital in Mahim, advised –
1. TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR MEDICAL CONDITION: Why should external factors and influences decide your heart’s health? Although various factors impact the heart, our lifestyle plays a key role. The heart is an integral part of our health puzzle, and by making lifestyle changes, we can ensure that it is kept in optimum health. Heart health is significant for people with comorbidities like diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and hypertension. The risk factor also increases if a person is Obese, which is why lifestyle changes are of prime importance.
2. ADOPT A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE: Today, heart attacks and cardiac issues are no longer restricted to people over 50yrs. More and more young people are falling prey to heart disease. While awareness is not an issue, it is equally important to implement the knowledge gained in our daily lifestyle, which is lacking for many people. Although a balanced diet and regular exercise are vital, dietary restrictions on red meat, saturated fats, and salt intake are also essential. There are multiple, albeit practical, diet plans, like the DASH diet, which should be followed regularly. As for exercise, a 30-minute moderate workout like a brisk walk or jogging at least five days a week would ensure a healthy body.
Further, “sleep hygiene” has to be taught as a routine for individuals who want to maintain good cardiovascular health. With the advent of mobile phones and increased screen time, the quality and quantity of sleep have been drastically affected, which is a significant contributing factor to poor health. The growing misconception that only three hours of sleep a night is enough is entirely false.
3. FOLLOW PREVENTIVE STEPS: The adage ‘better safe than sorry’ holds even regarding our heart health. Prevention is of paramount importance. As stated previously, a “heart-healthy” lifestyle and regular checkups can indeed prevent a catastrophic asymptomatic issue or at least nip it in the bud. By adhering to preventive measures, proactive measures can be initiated to reduce the risk of heart disease.
The heart is not only a muscle; it is a vital organ that requires care and attention. More importantly, in a world bombarded with medical information and advice, the key to our health gives us a fresh perspective and insight into preventive measures. In other words, preventing heart disease is possible by adopting a healthy lifestyle, including but not limited to diet, exercise, sleep and smoking cessation.
Courtesy – www.hindustantimes.com