Good health, especially a healthy heart, is a blessing. Unfortunately, statistics show that heart diseases are on the rise, and the numbers are alarming. We should understand the seriousness of the situation as Heart disease and Strokes have become the primary cause of death around the world, leading to around 18.6 million deaths annually as per WHO.
The numbers may be disturbing, but around 80% of these diseases and conditions are preventable, including heart disease and stroke. On this World Heart Day (29th of September), we should educate ourselves and other people to reduce heart-related risks with some lifestyle changes.
Unhealthy lifestyle habits have become a norm today. Even if you are not considered at risk for Cardiovascular Disease (CVD), you must take the necessary steps today to prevent its onset as part of primordial prevention.
Awareness is an important step to taking necessary precautions. Be aware of all the warning signs of heart disease. Moreover, consider your family's medical history. Know your numbers, i.e., get your cholesterol, sugar levels, blood pressure, and BMI checked regularly. Knowing information beforehand can help you a lot in being prepared to fight heart disease and not let it worsen.
Regular exercise should be a compulsory part of your lifestyle. Do something you enjoy and do it regularly; that means 3-5 days a week of 30-45 minutes of a workout should be good in general. As per WHO, regular workouts can reduce the risk of Non-Communicable Diseases like CVD, stroke, diabetes, and even cancers.
Smoking is a leading cause of heart disease. Consult an expert if you are unable to quit. Tobacco, drug and alcohol abuse can be detrimental to the heart. Hence, work on reducing their usage over time. Get professional help if needed.
A good night’s sleep is important for a happy heart. In addition to making healthy changes in your lifestyle, do not overlook the importance of good sleep every night. Studies have shown that there is a strong correlation between sleep and overall physical and mental health. Good quality sleep/nap plays an important role in replenishing the body and preventing diseases like CVD and stroke.
This is, in general, an important part of maintaining good health. However, if you are at risk of heart disease, eating healthily becomes all the more important. Do not listen to social media hacks or celebrity advice on eating healthily. Meet a good Nutritionist or Dietician and discuss what is good for you as per your health, weight, and age requirements.
If you already have some issue with your heart or any other medical conditions, regularly take your medications & supplements and follow the advice as prescribed by the doctor. Never stop your medications without consulting your doctor.
Stress is known to have negative effects on heart health. The hectic schedules these days and increasing mental pressure in work and family life can cause serious damage to heart health. Unchecked stress leads to an increase in blood pressure and can cause a stroke. It has also been found that stress equally contributes to the development of CVD, like tobacco, obesity, diabetes etc. . So stop stressing and maintain a positive outlook toward life. A positive mindset will do wonders for your overall health.
We all know that “Prevention is always better than Cure.” Heart diseases, including their diagnosis and treatment, can be exhausting physically, emotionally, and financially. Moreover, heart disease care costs lakhs of rupees and may be considered an economic burden for the patients. Each one of us must take the necessary steps to maintain good health in general.
Having a healthy body is such a positive thing. Those who work to maintain good health are often amazed by the ability of their bodies to sustain and nurture them. Taking care of our health needs to be our primary focus. Good health can help us stay strong mentally and physically. Being ill takes a toll on our loved ones as well. It is not easy to see someone you love suffer in a hospital or go through surgeries. Therefore it is important that starting today, we all start becoming more aware of our health and taking the necessary steps to prevent heart diseases.
This World Heart Day, let us make a promise to ourselves that we will work hard to maintain a happy and healthy heart. Get the charge of your heart health in your hand by making small changes in your daily lifestyle patterns.
And if needed, get professional help. Also, ensure that you will support your loved ones and anyone suffering from heart disease with kindness, generosity and positivity.