New Delhi: As per the statistics shared by World Health Organisation (WHO), every year 17.5 million people suffer from cardiac ailments namely coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, cardiac arrest, congestive heart failure, arrhythmia and stroke amongst others.
Lifestyle changes such as regular blood pressure monitoring, maintained cholesterol levels, diabetes, non-smoking, weight management and regular exercises can contribute to a healthy heart. Dr Pramod Kumar, Director and HOD, Cardiology, Fortis Hospital Shalimar Bagh, New Delhi shares quick tips on how to care for our hearts in daily lives.
What it means to be a healthy heart:
* A healthy heart beats anywhere between 70 to 80 beats a minute.
* Heart rates increase in response to the body needing more oxygen or nutrients.
* Fainting, dizziness and shortness of breath is indicative that the heart rate might be very low, for heart pumping may be affected.
Symptoms of a heart attack:
* Chest pain or discomfort.
* Upper body discomfort.
* Shortness of breath.
* Breaking out in a cold sweat.
* Feeling unusually tired for no reason.
* Nausea (feeling sick to the stomach) and vomiting.
* Light-headedness or sudden dizziness.
Mistaking Acidity for Heart Attacks:
* Heartburn is often confused with a heart attack.
* Acids in stomach rising into the oesophagus and can cause chest pain at times radiating it to your neck, throat or jaw can be mistaken for heart attack.
Small Changes make powerful differences:
* 30 minutes of activity a day can help prevent heart attacks and stroke.
* If one stops smoking, the risk for coronary heart disease is reduced to half.
* Learn how to swap unhealthy food with healthier alternatives.
* Keeping a healthy weight and limiting your salt intake will help to control your blood pressure
* Make sure that your blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels are checked regularly and maintained within normal range as these are the biggest indicators of heart disease.
* Reducing stress – doing meditation/yoga.
Fuel Your Heart: Healthy Heart Foods
* Green vegetables: Green vegetables are high in carotenoids, which act as antioxidants and free your body of potentially harmful compounds.
* Fruits: Contain numerous antioxidants, including heart-promoting polyphenols and anthocyanins which may help stave off hardening of the arteries.
* Whole grain/Cereals: Consuming cereals have long been a wonder meal for reducing cholesterol.
* Polyunsaturated oils like mustard, olive oil: Olive oil is a good source of monounsaturated fats, which can help reduce both cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
* Other food: Fish/Sea food, Blueberries, Legumes, Flax seeds, Dark chocolate and Green tea.
Healthy Heart Exercises
* Any form of aerobic exercises including climbing stairs and playing sports, walking, jogging, swimming or biking.
* Strength and stretching exercises are best for overall stamina and flexibility.
* At least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity is required 5 days a week.
Love your Heart: Stop Smoking
* Smoking damages the lining of the blood vessels and causes an increase in the fatty deposits in the arteries which eventually lead to blood clotting. It adversely affects blood lipid levels and promotes coronary heart disease.
* Nicotine leads to high blood pressure and increase in the heart rate.
*If a person quits smoking for 15 years, their risk of a heart attack falls to the same level as those who have never smoked.
* Passive smoking affects 6,00,000 children. 10 percent of all cardiac ailments can be attributed to smoking.
World Heart Day is a platform on which the global disease burden can be evaluated and reduced. It highlights the actions that individuals can take to prevent and control cardiovascular disease. 80% of all CVD’S are a result of heart disease and strokes.
Heart Ailments can be tackled by maintaining healthy lifestyles. If a patient has a family history of heart ailments, the person should engage in preventive health check – ups and focus on a healthy lifestyle.