Keeping your heart healthy
is not a hard choice. It’s
a heart choice.
It doesn’t take much to keep heart disease at bay. In fact, it’s the
simple things that make the biggest difference – changing lifestyle habits and
being physically active, for instance. And it is not just us; even experts are
on our side. They have said it loud and clear – when it comes to cardiovascular
ailments, prevention is, in fact, better than cure.
World Heart Day is celebrated annually on the 29th of
September. Founded in the year 2000, the campaign has been established to
spread awareness about heart health. A large percentage of the society at large
suffers from heart-related disorders like stroke, heart attacks, heart
failures, etc. Quite clearly then, these problems are the leading cause of death
across the world.
Not such a hearty scenario there.
The World Heart Foundation says that at least 80% of premature deaths due
to cardiovascular diseases can be avoided by controlling four major risk
factors – unhealthy eating, tobacco and alcohol use and lack of physical
activity.And to drive this message home, a range of World Heart Day activities
are organised, maximising reach and participation across a wide section of the
Creating conversations of significance matters the most when it comes to
critical causes like those of heart health. On the occasion of World Heart Day,
health institutes and various organizations conduct health check-ups and
seminars to disseminate awareness on heart diseases, and ways one can prevent
We’d like to share a few ways in which you can lower the risk of heart
1. Quit smoking
Cigarette smoking remains the leading preventable cause of cardiovascular
disease in both men and women, with more than 50%of heart attacks among
middle-aged population are attributable to tobacco.
2. Keep your cholesterol levels in check
Aim for total cholesterol below 200 mg/dL; LDL cholesterol below 130
mg/dL and HDL above 35 mg/dL.
3. Don’t let your weight get in the way of heart health
60% of both men and women get no regular physical activity. Obesity,
especially abdominal adiposity, is an important risk factor for cardiovascular
disease in women.
4. Exercise regularly, keep your heart pumping
Recent evidence suggests that even moderate-intensity activity, including
brisk walking, is associated with substantial reduction of the risk of
5. Make healthy diet choices
Diets low in saturated fat and high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains,
and fibre are associated with a reduced risk of
cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, you could even think about turning
flexitarian (primarily vegetarian diet with an occasional intake of meat or
fish) or vegetarian.
6. Stress management helps
Poorly controlled stress may have an adverse effect on blood lipids.
Relaxation methods (meditation, breathing exercises), yoga, and stress
management techniques are essential for preventing cardiovascular disease and
coronary artery disease and for reducing the risk of recurrent cardiac
In India, millions of people fall victim to and die of cardiovascular
diseases because of unhealthy lifestyles. All it takes is taking a step, no
matter how big or small and that will be the beginning of a heart healthy life.
It’s about time we all live the hearty life we’re supposed to.