world heart day

Today, the 29th of September we celebrate the World Heart Day. Everybody becomes extremely cautious when it comes to the matters affecting their heart. That’s because we know how fast a heart-attack can take a man’s life. All of us know that our heart is the main engine of our body. We do not want diseases to affect our heart and compromise our health.
Now, there are several healthy habits and lifestyle changes that we can easily implement in our life to protect our heart.Most of us know bits and pieces about the heart friendly habits and yet find it difficult to adopt them. So, on this special day I thought why not write a brief article on how to easily protect our heart from diseases by adopting some tips and tricks that can be implemented in a person’s life without much hassle.

Lifestyle

The modern day world is a fast moving one. No body has time to do the minimum daily physical activities that is recommended. All the modern day jobs are carried out in a small cubicle. You wake up in the morning, make a simple breakfast, grab your car keys and rush to your office. You take the elevator to your office where you spend the next 9 hours sitting  in front of a desktop. We spend most of our time “sitting”. And that habit is becoming a lifestyle which we call as the “sedentary lifestyle”.
You can read more abut the sedentary lifestyle in this article.

“Sitting is the new Smoking”
According to some studies , it has been found out that the sitting habit is more dangerous than smoking!

In the above mentioned article, I have some suggestions and tips to get around the sedentary lifestyle. Changing your sedentary habits can be the number one way to protect your heart from a dozen of heart diseases. That includes high cholesterol levels in the blood, heart attacks, heart failures, cardiomyopathy, myocardial infarctions etc. So, do some standing up, sit-ups, climb the stairs to your office, walk a little bit and move around once in a while.

Food

A balanced diet can go a long way in protecting your heart. But, the problem is that most of us think we know what a balanced diet is and yet continue  to eat unhealthy food. I highly recommend you to read this article about balanced diet to get some basic knowledge.
In a nutshell, you should:

  • eat more leafy greens
  • eat more fresh fruits
  • avoid fried items
  • avoid trans fatty acid like vanaspathi and dalda
  • reduce salt intake in your diet
  • drink plenty of water (unless you have a chronic kidney disease)

 

Must Read: Are you drinking enough water?

Workouts

I’ve already mentioned how to get rid of sedentary lifestyle. You should also find some time daily to do some aerobic exercises. I’m talking about a minimum of 20 minutes a day. I use an aerobic workout machine to complete my workouts. I’ve written about it in these articles. Always remember to combine some stretching exercises along with aerobic ones. This is very important if you’re planning to start workouts on a daily basis.

Must Read: Using the Apple Watch to improve your fitness

You need not visit a gym to do an aerobic workout! You can do brisk walking, running, jogging, swimming, cycling, hiking etc in the proper way to get the same results. Aerobic workouts boosts your cardiovascular system and improves the blood circulation. It also prevents cholesterol plaques to clog your blood vessels. Daily workouts can dramatically improve your overall energy levels and make you feel fresh all the time.

Checkups

High blood pressure, Diabetes, Obesity and high blood cholesterol are some conditions that will eventually lead to heart disease in the future. Sedentary lifestyle and fast food habits are making even young persons prone to these conditions. Therefore it will be a good idea to routinely check for these conditions if you’re above 25. All these conditions can be managed with medicines and lifestyle modifications.
Blood pressure can be checked at your nearest doctor’s office and blood cholesterol can be tested by doing a simple blood test at a medical laboratory. Diabetes can be tested at your home using glucose meters or at a medical laboratory. You should also read this article to identify whether you are obese or not.

Must Read: Salt restriction can reduce your blood pressure
Best five digital blood pressure monitors for home use

If you have the following symptoms please do a thorough heart checkup:

  • chest pain while doing heavy work (like lifting weights, climbing stairs, running etc)
  • chest pain associated with sweating
  • central chest pain radiating to neck, jaws and left arm
  • chest pain associated with difficulty to breathe
  • severe ankle swelling of unknown origin
  • history of heart disease in the family

It will be a wise decision to get your heart examined by a doctor if your siblings or a close family member has a congenital heart disease. Examples of such diseases include VSD, ASD, Fallot’s tetralogy etc.

Habitshttp://beingthedoctor.com/harmful-effects-of-smoking-cigarettes/

Sedentary habit is one thing that I’ve already mentioned. Other habits that you should give up includes smoking, alcoholism, narcotics, chewing. All these habits have a direct impact on your heart’s health as well as other organ systems. If you’re already under the grip of one of these habits, it is high time that you should start thinking about your heart!

Must Read: Nicoderm patches to quit Cigarette Smoking

Cooking Oils

I’ve been writing a draft on this topic for a long time and it’s still unfinished. The important points to note while choosing cooking oils are:

 

  • polyunsaturated fatty acids are good
  • saturated fatty acids should be avoided
  • Frying meat, fish and even vegetables is not a good practice
  • Avoid oils and packets which say that they contain partially hydrogenated fatty acids. They are actually the worst type of oil you can buy because they produce trans fatty acids on cooking which are very much poisonous to your arteries and heart.

Must Read: Fatty acids and Cooking Oils

The trick is to choose the right cooking oil for the particular dish that you are preparing. For example, using olive oil for salads & coconut oil for frying.
There you have it. These were some of the healthy tips and tricks that you can implement in your life to keep your heart pumping healthier every single day. If you have any more tips to add, please share them in the comments section below. Hope you liked this article. For more such articles, subscribe to our free newsletter by filling up the form at the top of the page.

Dr Prasoon

Dr Prasoon

Author at BeingTheDoctor
Dr Prasoon, founder of BeingTheDoctor is a qualified medical practitioner who finds time to write articles on "health" and his "clinical experiences". He is currently engaged in providing primary health care services in rural India. Learn more in the "about" page.
Dr Prasoon

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Prevent Heart Diseases – World Heart Day Special
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