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World Heart Day: Healthy habits for a healthy heart

World Heart Day – Most of the heart ailments have a root cause in our lifestyle behaviours.

World Heart Day: Healthy habits for a healthy heart
Cardiovascular diseases are officially the leading cause of death in India and all around the world, especially among people aging from 25-70.

On World Heart Day, Geetika Patni, Lifestyle Expert at GOQii, shared her experience with a man from Punjab. “Five years ago, I came across Mr Harvinder Singh in Bhatinda, Punjab, who had suffered a heart attack and was confide to a wheel chair. On asking upon why Mr Singh was on a wheelchair, his daughter, Pinky Kaur briefed me of his medical history. She mentioned that her father has been a chain smoker for last 20 years, and loved eating variety of rich meals. He also had an active lifestyle but, since his sons took over the business, he became more sedentary as days passed.”

“A happy go lucky person, Singh was celebrating his daughter Pinky Kaur’s ’s 21st birthday at their home. Friends and relatives had come over. Amidst the fun and celebrations, one close relative instilled a thought of worry in Mr Singh’s head about his daughter’s marriage prospects. Singh could not sleep that night after the party. He got so restless and worried for his daughter’s marriage that he suffered an acute heart attack in the middle of the night. Thankfully, he received timely medical assistance which saved his life. But, he was bound to a wheel chair,” Patni continued.

“Family and friends were worried for his health and Singh realised that he needs to take charge of his health and habits. A month ago I met Mr Singh again. This time around I saw a remarkable change in him. He was not on a wheelchair and he was walking on his own. He has lost a good 8kgs of weight and his face and skin were glowing and his heart health is fine,” Patni concluded.

It’s rightly said, “It is best to learn from other’s experience than your own” and off late we find that “Heart disease is no longer a disease of the elderly.” It is best to adopt heart friendly habits when you are still young and can prevent those long lasting heart damages.

Also Read | World Heart Day: Take charge of your heart health

Talking to FinancialExpress.com GOQii’s Lifestyle Expert Geetika Patni shared some of the habits that has helped Mr Singh and will help everyone in taking care of their heart health.

1. Stop Smoking: Smoking is dangerous for the smoker as well as the passive smoker. Smoking or chewing tobacco damages heart vessels leading to high blood pressure. Quitting smoking drastically reduces risk of heart attack. Stopping to smoke can even reverse the damage already done.

2. Limit sodium: Evidence suggests, when dietary sodium intake is reduced, high blood pressure begins to fall within days. So it’s a small habit change but pays off very well for cardiovascular benefits. Main source of sodium in our diet is table salt. The other hidden sources are sauces, pickles, papad, packaged chutneys, processed foods, red meat, bakery items etc. Low sodium diet clubbed with 2 cups of fresh fruits and 2.5 cups of vegetables each day can do wonders in cleaning your blood vessels off the cholesterol.

3. Exercise: Heart is a muscle and the more we use it, the better it becomes. For cardiovascular benefits, every single movement counts. Running errands, doing household chores or even taking deep breaths when seated is beneficial heart practices. And, if your time permits do add 30 minutes of cardio exercises like aerobics, dance, and running, playing sports, walking, cycling, and swimming and so on to your daily routine. Exercise, lowers the risk of not only heart diseases but diabetes and obesity as well.

4. Reduce stress: Sleep well and your stress hormones start to decline. The first thing to do before you go to bed is to keep your gadgets away from your bed side. Next, let go of your past and future thoughts. Write your daily journal, practice gratitude, do meditation or speak to a friend. These are some of the other sure shot ideas for stress management.

Most of the heart ailments have a root cause in our lifestyle behaviours. Keep your heart in top-shape by inculcating these heart friendly habits and avoiding harmful behaviours!

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