As World Heart Day approaches on 29 September, it is extremely important to increase awareness about a heart-healthy lifestyle for everyone, and not just for people with existing health problems to reduce the risks and improve quality of wellbeing.
Recently the rate of increasing heart attack among men and women, have shown the unhealthy lifestyle especially post pandemic and India has lost many kind souls to cardiac arrest. As we celebrate World Heart Day, here are some suggestions from the best cardiac specialists on how to keep your heart ticking as you age.
Dr. Sanjeev Gera, MBBS, MD, DNB, Director Cardiac Sciences – Fortis Hospital, Noida
Here are some essential healthy heart tips to prevent heart attacks. Be aware of your risk factors: high BP, diabetes or pre-diabetes, obesity, High cholesterol, smoking, genetics, and stress. Take care of your mental health with meditation, yoga, and spending time with your family and friends. Choose a healthy lifestyle with a balanced low salt-low fat diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Also, maintain weight, take regular walks, avoid alcohol & quit smoking. Regular preventive heart checks are mandatory with optimal control of BP, cholesterol, and sugar, along with prescribed medications. In case of a heart attack, always remember to reach the hospital within the first or the “Golden hour” to prevent heart muscle damage by proper interventions.
Prof Salil Garg, MD DNB FACC FSCAI FCSI, SGRRIMHS and Mahant Indiresh Hospital, Dehradun
Heart disease is ubiquitous, and most of us or someone close to us will be suffering from the same. However, with proper lifestyle management – regular exercise and medical interventions, we can control it and lead a comfortable and healthy life. Medical interventions such as angioplasty, pacemaker implantations, ICD, and CRTs, as well as valve replacements, not only improve the quality of life but also increase our lifespan. Regular visits to the doctors and following their advice, especially in heart failure management, can do wonders and make a difference in outcomes. It is always better to take professional advice than go by the suggestion of friendly acquaintances.
Dr. Sanjat Chiwane, MD, DM, FESC, FSCAI, Senior Consultant and In Charge, Artemis Hospitals, Gurugram
You must control your stress. Long-term stress can cause long-term heart damage, as your heart rate and blood pressure rise, injuring the artery walls. Keep in mind that heart disease can strike at any age. However, after the age of 55, the risk of a stroke doubles. Patients should practice stress-management techniques, which can be as simple as deep breathing exercises, but he also recommends activities like volunteering to alleviate stress. It is critical to work with your healthcare provider to understand your numbers, which include cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, and body mass index (BMI). Knowing this information can help you determine your risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Heart disease can be avoided 80% of the time.
Dr. Amit Bhushan Sharma, MBBS, MD, DM, FSCAI, FESC, FIC (USA), FPD (USA), FPI (Vietnam),
Director and Unit Head Cardiology -Paras Hospital, Gurgaon
Know your four vital numbers: Pulse, BP, Fasting blood sugar, and Oxygen saturation. If they remain under control, 90 percent chances are you will not have a heart attack or brain stroke as no problem builds overnight. Stress is the number one cause of sudden cardiac arrest.
There are numerous stress-busters at hand for you. For example, listening to music, reading books, watching comedy movies or shows, and practicing meditation. Do some deep breathing exercises as stretching exercises increase circulation. Roll your feet over a golf ball. Nibble on some citrus fruits, especially strawberries, drink chamomile tea or warm milk, add turmeric to your recipes or dig into seafood, adding fatty fish and eggs to your meals.
Prof. (Dr.) Pranab Bhattacharyya, MD, DM, FACC, FSCAI, Professor and HOD of Cardiology, Cardiothoracic and Neurosciences Centre, Gauhati Medical College and Hospital, Guwahati
For promoting heart health and disease reduction follow ‘Life’s Simple 7’ – Get active, Eat better, Lose weight, Stop smoking, Control cholesterol, Manage blood pressure and Reduce blood sugar.
Additionally, reduce harmful air pollution exposure, avoid chewing tobacco products and indulge in de-stressing activities like meditation, engage in hobbies and take up yoga to further boost your heart health.
However, if you have undergone coronary angioplasty and stenting or bypass surgery earlier, in addition to following ‘Life’s Simple 7’ please continue to take all medicines prescribed by your cardiologist regularly to prevent unnecessary complications and lead a long and healthy life.
Dr. Puneet K Verma, Chief Interventional Cardiologist cum Structural Heart Specialist, Ace Heart and Vascular Institute, Mohali
Living a healthy lifestyle can help you keep your BP, cholesterol, and sugar levels normal and lower your risk for heart diseases. Please make it a point to walk at least 45 minutes briskly or play an outdoor game. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables and limit the intake of processed foods. Take your medicine regularly and always follow your doctor’s instructions carefully regarding the management of these conditions.
Sleep is one of the most natural healing processes of the human physiology. Our quality of sleep is lead to our mental and physical wellness. The sleep duration is important since it is associated with increase in heart attacks. One should avoid taking sleeping pills and resort to consistent physical fitness routine and meditation before going to bed.
Dr. S. S. Murthy, MBBS, DNB, MNAMS, Director & HOD – Ayushman Hospital, Dwarka, New Delhi
Exercise and diet are the mainstays of maintaining a healthy heart. There are many commandments for maintaining a healthy heart. For example, regular brisk walking for 30–45 minutes controls your BP, diabetes, and cholesterol. Choosing to consume fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meat, and low-fat dairy products instead of junk food and carbonated beverages. Avoid tobacco and alcohol.
After the age of 35, you should have a regular health checkup with your doctor. If you experience any of the following symptoms: heavy in the chest while exerting or resting, breathlessness while exerting or resting, excessive sweating, choking in the throat, giddiness or loss of consciousness, or palpitations, please consult your doctor.
Dr. S Ramesh, DM, MD, MBBS, Professor & Senior Consultant – SRMC, Chennai
Healthy habits have to start early. As blocks in the blood vessels to the heart start in the second decade of life, More often than not, when there is family history of premature heart block. Fatty deposits cause blockage in the blood vessels. Accelerated fatty deposits happen in patients with high blood pressure, poorly controlled blood sugars, smoking, obesity, and people with high cholesterol. Eating healthy, maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking, and engaging in regular exercise are four strategies for lowering the risk of a heart attack.