India has rapidly become the capital of metabolic diseases over the globe.This term encompasses a combination of ‘high’ – body weight, blood pressure, blood sugars and blood cholesterol, a disease of excess. These metabolic diseases lead to heart diseases like heart attacks, heart failure and fluctuations in heart rate (arrhythmia), said Dr Nihar Mehta, consultant cardiologist at Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre.
According to Dr Mehta, prevention is the key. These diseases crop up from the habits and lifestyle choice we make right from our childhood and adolescent days. Making a healthy change at any age will lead to a ripple effect for our future generations.
Dr Mehta gives 5 tips for better heart health:
- Physical activity: To stay healthy, 30 to 45 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise must be undertaken for 5 to 6 days a week. This includes walking, cycling, swimming or running. Other activity like weight training, pranayama and so on should be additional to this exercise, not a substitute
- Fruits and vegetables: 2 to 3 fruits and 2 to 3 bowls of vegetables per day should be consumed to keep heart diseases at bay. Over cooking of vegetables and fruit juices should be avoided.
- Yoga and meditation: Yogic practices and meditation have shown to reduce in levels of psychosocial stress, blood pressure and cardiovascular parameters. With our lives moving in fast-forward, no one can escape stress and any measures to reduce it would benefit the cardiac status.
- Say no to tobacco: Tobacco consumption directly leads to heart attacks. Giving up tobacco is imperative.
- Regular checkup: Hypertension, diabetes and high cholesterol rarely produce any problems, but are detected during routine checkups. Regular checkups will ensure earlier detection and earlier treatment of these conditions before they produce complications.
Dr Mehta concluded by saying, “You should take as many steps as possible to prevent these diseases from taking control of your life.”