World Heart Day is observed annually on September 29. It is celebrated to spread awareness about the importance of keeping the heart fit as it’s one of the most important organs. The theme for World Heart Day this year is ‘Use Heart To Connect’. The doctors at Fortis Healthcare have called for maintaining a balanced lifestyle, and in light of the pandemic, they urged the public, particularly the youth, to take care of their heart health, get regular screenings and not ignore any significant symptoms. Every year, over 17 million people die from heart diseases. This World Heart Day is to spread awareness about cardiovascular diseases, steps you can take to fight them, and how you can help others with CVD.
As the world struggles to fight Covid-19, cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the world’s number one killer, and an estimated 17.9 million people died from CVDs in 2016, representing 31 per cent of all global deaths. Of these deaths, 85 per cent were due to heart attack and stroke. In 2016, India reported 63 per cent of total deaths due to NCDs, of which 27 per cent were attributed to CVDs. (Source: Hindustan Times) Amid the global pandemic, heart disease prevention and care are more important than ever, especially since heart patients are more vulnerable to serve COVID-19 due to their underlying condition.
Here’s how you can keep your heart healthy and encourage others to do the same:
Maintain A Healthy Diet
A heart healthy diet forms the foundation of fighting heart disease. Eating well can help you maintain healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels while also reducing your risk for obesity and diabetes.
– Limit saturated and trans fat. The best fats to include in the diet are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated (omega-3 and omega-6) fats.
– Salts should be avoided as high salt-containing food like preserved and processed foods. Cutting down on salt can reduce risk of high blood pressure, stroke and heart failure.
– Consuming a variety of fruit and vegetables in your day-to-day food. Eating fruits and vegetables is linked to a lower risk of heart disease and healthier hearts.
– Eating wholegrain food instead of processed food helps to keep you and your heart healthy.
Try To Be Active
Moderate exercise everyday reduces the risk of heart disease. Apart from that, exercising helps strengthening the bones and muscles. Start with small, realistic goals and work your way up to the recommended 30-60 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity (such as brisk walking) on most days of the week.
Keep Cholesterol In Check
High cholesterol increases your risk for heart disease and stroke, two leading causes of death. Most healthy adults should have their cholesterol checked every 4 to 6 years. Some people, such as people who have heart disease or diabetes or who have a family history of high cholesterol, need to get their cholesterol checked more often. It can be done with the help of diet, exercise, and medication as advised by your doctor. Foods to avoid if you have high cholesterol levels include white bread, white potatoes, and white rice, whole-fat dairy products, and any highly processed sugars or flours. Fried foods and red meat should also be avoided, as well as foods high in saturated fats.
Quit Smoking and Protect Yourself From Passive Smoking Too
No ifs, ands and buts. It’s quite simple to affirm : No Smoking. There are many steps you can take to help protect your health and blood vessels. Avoiding tobacco is one of the most important ones. Passive smoking is equally detrimental to health. Quitting smoking isn’t always easy and can be done with planning, practice, persistence and help.
Avoid Excess Stress
There are more than 1,400 biochemical responses to stress, including a rise in blood pressure and a faster heart rate. If you don’t manage your stress, it can create more stress and trap you in a stress cycle. To reduce your anxiety level, try activities that reduce stress like yoga, walking meditation, traditional meditation, guided imagery, or other methods.
Monitor Blood Pressure and Blood Sugar
High blood pressure is one of the main risk factors for heart disease, chances of high blood pressure increase with age. So, get your blood pressure checked up regularly. Adhere to your doctor’s advice and make sure your blood sugar remains under reasonable control.
Today, focus attention on the millions who die from heart disease each year. It encourages people to take action by offering a variety of fun, healthy events — walks, runs, public talks, concerts, etc. World Heart Day can inspire you to fight cardiovascular disease and live a longer, healthier life. Today is the perfect day to pledge about improving health, make lifestyle changes, get exercising and start eating healthy.