Apr 25, 2022
Gurgaon, Sept 2015: When was the last time you measured your Body Mass Index, and had your blood pressure and blood sugar levels checked? Do you spare 30 minutes daily to walk, jog or exercise? Do you think twice before gulping down burgers from your next door store?
If you are a young Indian living a hectic lifestyle in a busy city like Gurgaon, chances are you have never given a though to the above questions, without even realizing that you are making yourself prone to cardiovascular diseases.
Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are the leading cause of deaths across the world, including in India. While, the risk of acquiring a CVD increases with age, the risk factors build up right from our younger years. Due to factors such as unhealthy lifestyle, increasing consumption of fast food and absence of physical activity, the average age of patients reporting heart ailments is declining today. As we observe World Heart Day, doctors at Paras Hospitals, Gurgaon, are consciously discussing these issues with all their patients and educating them about the everyday habits that can reduce risk.
“Several factors work together to expose our heart to higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. While genetic risk is a factor, even people who do not have genetic risk of cardiovascular disease are acquiring it today due to decrepit lifestyles. High levels of stress, complete dependence on technology, no inclination to exercise or walk, addiction to smartphones and devices and consumption of fast food rich in salt and empty carbs are factors that have crept in our daily lives in an alarming proportion. All these put together are increasing our population’s risk of cardiovascular disease. Therefore, it is necessary to encourage people to adopt healthy lifestyles. It is important for the people to keep in check their blood pressure, body weight, sugar levels and cholesterol, as they are the prime causes of CVD. For this, it is important to pay regular visit to the doctors for a routine health check up,” said Dr.Tapan.
Quit Smoking and drinking
We all know smoking and tobacco consumption increase risk of cancer. However, another major ill-effect of tobacco is that it has substantial potential to damage your heart. Tobacco consumption in both forms can lead to narrowing of the arteries; smoking of tobacco can cause atherosclerosis, which can lead to heart attack. Meanwhile, drinking excessively can affect the heart’s ability to pump blood.
Check your hypertension
Hypertension is known to be a silent killer as most of the time it persists without showing any major symptoms. Hypertension or constantly high blood pressure damages the blood vessels and is a leading cause of heart attacks and strokes. Therefore, it is necessary to keep a regular check on your blood pressure, especially after the age of 40 as many a time you won’t even realize you have it. Also, never skip high blood pressure medicine without doctor’s recommendation. This is a fairly common practice in Indian patients and can be very harmful to the heart.
Keep a tab on cholesterol levels
We need good cholesterol to function properly, but high levels of bad cholesterol, commonly known as, LDL can put you at a high risk for a heart attack. You can keep your cholesterol level in check by avoiding fatty and oily food and working out regularly to shed away the deposition of fats.
Know your sugar levels
People with diabetes are more prone of acquiring CVD. As per the American Heart Association, diabetes is one of the major controllable risk factors for cardiovascular disease. In case of diabetes, the high blood glucose levels lead to increase in deposition of fatty materials on the insides of the blood vessel walls, which increases affects the blood the flow, causing clogging or hardening of blood vessels. Make sure you keep a check on blood sugar levels.
Healthy diet and optimum weight
Eating a healthy diet that is rich in vitamins and minerals and low on fat is essential for good heart health. Make sure your food has sufficient green vegetables, salads and fruits. Avoid too much dependence on fast food as it is rich in empty carbs and salt content and has other nutritive value. Overweight is another major risk factor for heart disease.
Involve in physical activity
Regularly following some kind of physical activity such as brisk walking, running, jogging or exercising is most essential to keep the heart in good health. Physical activity strengthen the heart’s muscles, prevents deposition on artery walls, checks bad cholesterol and helps you keep your weight in check. It also helps control diabetes and hypertension.