Cardiovascular disease (CVD), a collective term that refers to a range of heart conditions including heart failure, angina pain, heart failure, coronary heart disease, arrhythmia and birth defects, is increasing in prevalence worldwide and have been identified as the number one cause of morbidity and mortality. The fact that these conditions are not discriminatory based on age or gender makes it imperative to understand the risk factors and manage them in time.
“In India alone, around 2.8 million people die from various heart problems and this number is expected to reach an alarming figure of 23 million by 2030. Today, even seemingly healthy people succumb to cardiovascular diseases in due to factors such as high stress levels and unhealthy lifestyles. In most cases, silent blockages leading to disruptive functioning of the heart are the cause of cardiac arrest. Since heart problems mostly go unnoticed due to the lack of noticeable symptoms, the importance of preventive measures cannot be ignored. The following tips can help avoid cardiovascular disease and associated health complications,” says Rahul Rastogi, co-founder and CEO of Agatsa.
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Lose extra weight
Extra pounds weigh heavily on the heart – literally. Indians tend to gain weight around the abdomen, which is a significant risk factor for heart disease. According to statistics, even a 3-5% weight reduction can avoid the risk of heart disease by lowering arterial pressure and the sugar level.
Heart healthy food
A diet that includes fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, and omega-3 fatty acids can do wonders for keeping your heart healthy. Limit processed foods as they are high in salt and sugar, both of which can be harmful to the heart.
move move move
The heart is a muscle and must be active. At least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day can help the heart work better. Aerobic exercises including running, swimming or brisk walking can stimulate the heart, improve circulation and keep it healthier for longer.
Give up some habits
Smoking and alcohol consumption can harm long-term heart health. They increase arterial pressure why the heart has to work twice to pump blood. Over time, they also make it harder for the blood to carry oxygen to cells in the body. Consult a specialist and stop these habits at the earliest.
Sleep like a baby
The importance of good sleep for overall health cannot be emphasized. It is imperative to get at least six to eight hours of sleep, as this is when the cells in the body regenerate and repair themselves. Studies indicate that lack of quality sleep is a risk factor for increased blood pressure and, therefore, heart disease.
check your mouth
Poor dental hygiene is a major risk factor for heart disease. This is because bacteria that cause gum disease can enter the bloodstream and cause blood vessel inflammation. This increases the risk of heart attack and stroke. Oral hygiene must therefore be a priority.
Chase away the stress
Stress not only causes blood pressure to rise, but also causes a person to overeat unhealthy foods. Try to engage in activities such as yoga, meditation, or any other activity that will help you feel calm and relaxed. Practicing them every day can help reduce stress and keep your heart healthy.
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Check vital signs at home
Advances in medical science and technology have meant that there are devices today that can help people check their vital statistics including ECG from the comfort of their own home. There are handheld devices available today that allow basic home monitoring and controls at the push of a button. It can help prevent many fatal events and save a life by diagnosing and managing heart problems in a timely manner.
Preventive action is the foundation of good health and well-being. Leading a healthy lifestyle from an early age can not only help you live longer, but also keep you away from any chronic disease. If you are a person with a family history of heart disease or any of the risk factors, it is best to get timely checkups and follow a healthy lifestyle. This will not only prevent heart disease, but also prevent other complications.