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Ever wondered how young your heart is? This test might surprise you!
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Good thinking: Tips to keep your heart and family healthy
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Matters of the heart: The impact of modern lifestyles on health

BY: HT Brand Studio, Published: Sept 27, 2017

Heart diseases have become a major cause of mortality in India. The trend is attributable to a sedentary lifestyle, coupled with indiscriminate consumption of junk food, and smoking or drinking. This World Heart Day, which falls on September 29, we take a look at how making simple modifications in our lives can keep our hearts beating for years. And don't forget to start out today, because there's never a tomorrow!

You may think that you are young at heart, but reality might be different. Find out how young your heart really is in just a few minutes. Take the test now.

Tags: World Heart Day, Aviva, Mediclaim, Heart Attack, Lifestyle

Article

Good thinking: Tips to keep your heart and family healthy

BY: HT Brand Studio, Published: Sept 26, 2017

Can't go a week without having a packet of fries, or a bottle of fizzy drinks? Too lazy to hit the gym, or prone to too much stress? You might be at a risk of developing a heart disease. With cardiac ailments becoming the leading cause of death in India, here's how we can keep ourselves and our loved ones in a safe zone.

When Avishek Biswas (32), a West Bengal-based government employee, started experiencing chest pain last year, he panicked. He immediately visited a hospital, where he was diagnosed with paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT), a disease characterised by rapid heartbeart, shortness of breath, fatigue, anxiety, and tightness in the chest. Biswas went on to undergo cardiac ablation, a surgical procedure used to treat PSVT. He also quit smoking, which is a leading cause of the ailment.

Heart diseases account for one in four deaths in the country, data provided by the Registrar General of India show. At a public lecture, 'Living with heart disease: All about stents and interventions', delivered at the India International Centre in New Delhi last year, it was stated that one person dies of a heart attack in the country every 33 seconds. From a sedentary lifestyle to poor eating habits, there are many things that can affect your heart. Here are some everyday tips that you can follow to stay on track:

Cut out that junk
Eating healthy decreases your chances of contracting a cardiac ailment by 80%. Therefore, avoid processed meats such as sausage and bacon, refined carbohydrates like white rice and bread, soft drinks and other sugary juices, and alcohol. Black beans, salmon, walnuts, oranges, and carrots are some of the foods that work wonders in protecting your heart. Further, choose healthier ingredients while cooking, such as substituting ghee or butter with olive oil.

Jui Banerjee (36), a Noida-based homemaker, says, "I avoid cooking fried foods. Instead, I bake or steam them. Sugar in beverages has been replaced with honey, and snacking means eating only fruits or salads." Lowering the intake of junk food also helps keeping your cholesterol levels under control, as bad cholesterol can clog your arteries, increasing your risk of a heart attack or stroke. Also, quit smoking and avoid second-hand smoke.

Get in shape
Studies show that light to moderate exercise for at least 30 minutes every day can help you keep heart-healthy. Opt for aerobics exercises like running, jogging, swimming, and biking, or stretching exercises such as hamstrings stretch or quadriceps stretch. If you are no mood for strenuous exercises, practice Yoga, which incorporates both physical activity and meditation, and is highly beneficial for the heart. Too lazy to work out on your own? Get involved in a group exercise at a park or in the gym, or find a partner to exercise with. All this will keep you motivated, and ensure that working out remains fun. Simple steps such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or walking short distances instead of hiring an auto-rickshaw, will also keep your heart up and running.

Make your doctor your best friend
Uttarakhand-based bank employee, Rajinder Sandhu (57), goes for health check-ups every four months. His wife, Narinder Sandhu (56), a government employee in Delhi, goes for yearly screenings. The couple believes that the practice is essential to learn about the early signs of deadly diseases and to make lifestyle modifications accordingly. "After all, prevention is better than cure," says Narinder. Before visiting a doctor, make a list of the diseases that run in your family or have recently affected your relatives. Further, review any health problems that you may be facing, such as pain, dizziness, or lack of appetite. High blood pressure and diabetes are two conditions that significantly increase your risk of getting a heart attack or a stroke. Amid all this, it is important that you also encourage your family members or friends to go for health check-ups.

Plan your finances
Medical emergencies come unannounced. Therefore, it is imperative that you opt for a critical illness plan, which can cover up for high medical costs in case of chronic diseases such as cancer and renal failure. While a basic health policy can cover for your hospital bills, an insurance coverage for critical illnesses will help you tide over medical exigencies without having to tamper with your savings or borrow money. According to the World Health Organisation, 71% of Indians spend their entire income on healthcare and 3.2% of Indians fall under the poverty line owing to high medical bills. Neetesh Bansal (30), a Bangalore-based IT professional, says, "Nowadays, getting treated at any decent hospital turns out to be an expensive affair. A critical illness plan allows you to go forward with any kind of treatment without having to thinking about your finances. Nobody likes to worry about money when they are already troubled with their health."

Keep stress at bay
Had a fight with your wife? Worried that you may not get promoted at work? Fret not, because stress is not good for your heart. Studies show that stress changes the way your blood clots, which increases the risk of a heart attack. Further, if you are stressed, your blood pressure levels shoot up, and you are more likely to smoke or overeat or exercise less, all of which are harmful for your heart. Meditating, listening to music, reading, and laughing can help you beat stress. No matter how busy your work schedule gets, ensure that you spend adequate time with your family. Eating together, taking part in shared activities, and going on vacations are some of the best ways to handle stress. Like Noida-based media professional, Arpan Banerjee (37), puts it, "Keep smiling and be happy. And don't forget to tell yourself that 'all is well'".

You may think that you are young at heart, but reality might be different. Find out how young your heart really is in just a few minutes. Take the test now.

Tags: World Heart Day, Aviva, Healthcare, Insurance, Smoking

Images source: PEXELS.com
Video

Ever wondered how young your heart is? This test might surprise you!

BY: HT Brand Studio, Published: Sept 25, 2017

Heart diseases have become a major cause of mortality in India. The trend is attributable to a sedentary lifestyle, coupled with indiscriminate consumption of junk food, and smoking or drinking. On the occasion of World Heart Day, we did a short test with young couples in Delhi. Watch the video to find out just how young their hearts are.

More and more young Indians are becoming prone to cardiovascular diseases. According to the Indian Heart Association, 25% of all heart attacks in Indians occur under 40 years of age. Consumption of junk food, lack of physical activity, frequent smoking, and drinking are some of the factors that have led to this adverse trend.

To understand our general awareness around cardiovascular risks, Aviva interviewed young couples in Delhi to learn how they keep themselves and each other healthy. The first thing, of course, was to determine just how 'young' their hearts were. Watch the video to see how they fared.

If you are looking to keep yourself and your partner healthy, it is important that you make changes in your lifestyle right away.

A key factor towards keeping one's heart strong and, therefore, young is to eat healthy by avoiding processed meat, sugary drinks, and refined carbohydrates. Second, exercise for at least 30 minutes every day, while also encouraging your partner to hit the gym. Further, go for regular health check-ups, and invest in a health insurance policy as it will help you tide over all your medical emergencies without having to borrow or tamper with your savings. Amid all this, don't forget to beat stress by maintaining a positive attitude.

Is your heart as young as you are? Find out your heart's real age in just a few clicks. Take the test now.

Tags: World Heart Day, Vox pop, Heart age calculator, Hindustan Times