Take good care of your heart on â€˜World Heart Dayâ€™
The World Heart Day is celebrated on 29th September each year, organized by the World Heart Foundation. The day promotes the awareness for preventive measures to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The sole purpose is to motivate people against unhealthy habits like consumption of unhealthy foods, physical inactivity. This year the prime focus of global campaign is to take care of your own heart, as well as the heart of your loved ones: My Heart, Your Heart. The main purpose is to educate, inspire and motivate people to keep their hearts healthy while encouraging them to act as influencers themselves.
Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) take the lives of 17.9 million people every year, 31% of all global deaths. Triggering these diseases which manifest primarily as heart attacks and strokes are due to tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and the harmful use of alcohol. These in turn show up in people as raised blood pressure, elevated blood glucose and overweight and obesity, risks detrimental to good heart health. Fortunately, many patients with cardiomyopathy can lead a relatively normal life with lifestyle modifications.
- One must take care of the risk factors which cause heart failure. If you have hypertension, treat it even if you don’t notice any symptoms.
- Many people, who don’t have symptoms, tend to discontinue their medications. Doing so is a strict no-no.
- Treating underlying risk factors like hypertension, diabetes, obesity, is essential. As these patients will have severe complications which can increase their risk of heart failure.
- Cut down on smoking and alcohol.
- The patient is also advised to reduce salt and water intake. This is so because the extra salt can burden the heart, whereas, that extra water can put additional stress on the heart. The recommended salt intake for adults is 5 gms, per day.
- Try to eat 5 portions (about a handful each) of fruit and vegetable a day – they can be fresh, frozen, tinned or dried.
- Try to limit processed and prepackaged foods that are often high in salt, sugar and fat
- Make your own healthy school or work lunches at home
Benefits of physical activity includes:
Exercise regularly to battle the bulge, and maintain a healthy weight. If someone has heart failure then the person needs a close follow-up with a cardiologist.
- Manage your blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Physical activity Increases insulin sensitivity and may reduce the requirement of insulin or oral hypoglycaemic drugs.
- Improves cardiovascular health, blood cholesterol levels, and blood pressure levels.
- Sleep and quality of life improves.
- Enhances feelings of well-being
- Reduces the risk of depression or stress.
- Better weight control
- Strengthens muscles and bones
- Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity 5 times a week or at least 75 minutes spread throughout the week of vigorous-intensity activity