And the beat goes on – How to prevent heart attacks
A healthy heart has become paramount as the global pandemic shows no signs of relenting. With new variants being discovered every other day and a third wave imminent, it is necessary to safeguard our health to protect ourselves from the coronavirus. India accounts for at least 60 per cent of heart diseases worldwide.
Heart disease is a silent killer that lurks in the shadows, striking when one expects it the least. Data reveals that Indians are more susceptible to heart diseases than, say, the West. This can be attributed to genes as well as factors like diet, stress and lifestyle. Hence, it becomes necessary to adopt a healthy lifestyle to minimize the risk of heart diseases.
A healthy lifestyle not only cuts down risks but can also add years to your life. A proper diet and an active routine can work wonders for your health. While popping pills may help control risk factors that lead to heart diseases, the adoption of preventive measures right from the get-go is more beneficial in the long run.
Stress is a major contributor to the development of heart diseases in a majority of the population. In today’s world where we are connected round the clock, technology can be harmful for your health. Excessive usage of phones and laptops has been linked to the development of heart diseases. Staying glued to your phone or laptop can lead to a sedentary lifestyle as well as unchecked stress which can indirectly affect your heart. Learn to regulate screen time and take gadget-free breaks frequently.
In the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, we tend to neglect the most important factor that keeps us going – food. A well-balanced and nutritious diet is often ignored for fast foods in order to save time. It is therefore ironic that in a bid to save minutes, we end up losing years. A nutritious diet can do wonders for your heart. Food rich in antioxidants, Omega-3, fibre, proteins and good cholesterol should always be included in your daily meal to keep the heart healthy and functioning properly.
Hydration is also essential for a healthy heart. Drinking plenty of water and other hydrating fluids is important to regulate the functioning of the heart. Aerated drinks and other junk food should be avoided or minimized and replaced with healthier options.
As mentioned earlier, a sedentary lifestyle is a major contributor to heart diseases. Our bodies are not made for idleness. Regular physical activity can help you prevent potential heart attacks and other complications too. It is not just your limbs and muscles that receive a workout when you exercise. The heart also benefits from the increased heart rate as we engage in physical activities, allowing it to regulate its functions properly.
Another major cause of heart diseases is uncontrolled blood sugar levels. Excessive blood sugar can cause damage to the arteries, disrupting blood flow and damaging tissues. This results in a build-up of cholesterol in the arteries which essentially is a heart attack in the making. Therefore, maintaining optimal blood sugar levels is necessary to avoid such complications.
Taking care of one of the most important organs of the human body should always be a priority. The heart can only take so much. Given the pandemic situation and the transition to a much more sedentary lifestyle, heart diseases will become more prevalent in our society. We will need to be on our toes to ensure we have healthy and young hearts. After all, ‘Health, really is wealth’.