7 everyday habits to prevent heart attack
It's high time to make healthy changes in the way we are leading our lives for preventing cardiac deaths and heart attacks. Here are 7 heart-healthy lifestyle changes you should immediately make.
Are we leading a heart-healthy lifestyle? A string of recent celeb deaths from Sonali Phogat, KK, to Sidharth Shukla due to cardiac issues without any prior signs and symptoms is making us reflect what can be done to lead a healthy and disease-free life. While ‘no exercise' can increase your chances of heart attacks, too much of it can also do the same damage or even more, say experts. As our lifestyle is increasingly getting sedentary - especially post Covid since many of us are now used to being confined to houses and lost touch with our physically active routine - our heart is bearing the brunt of it and it's high time to make healthy changes in the way we are leading our lives for preventing cardiac deaths and heart attacks. (Also read: Sonali Phogat dies of heart attack; experts on what causes sudden cardiac arrest)
"Heart disease are now getting very common these days and we are having news that it is occurring at younger age. Also, during last one year, we got several news that young celebrities, actors or athletes or even politicians at the younger age dying of sudden heart attack. And usually, these heart attacks are without any prior signs and symptoms. So, this news which we got in last one year, most of the time there was a common denominator that they died without any prior signs and symptoms and it was sudden and catastrophic in most of them," says Dr Chandrashekhar, Associate Director - Interventional Cardiology, Max Hospital Shalimar Bagh.
REASONS OF RISE IN HEART ATTACK
"Reasons for the rise in heart attack cases differ from person to person. The major reasons are poor lifestyle choices and habits. Stress is another reason for heart attack, a sudden stress can cause a cardiac issue called cardiomyopathy. The stress–related Cardiomyopathy has no association with artery blockages which leads to a heart attack. The big risk factor for heart attack is the increasing incidences of Type 2 diabetes, cholesterol, hypertension, increase screen time, lesser physical activity, family history, obesity etc. One must get regular check-ups done irrespective of age. Mental health also plays a huge role in the contribution of heart diseases. In case of major or minor blocks in the heart coronary angiograms can help in detection," says Dr Ankur Phatarpekar, Interventional Cardiologist, Symbiosis Hospital, Dadar.
PREVENTING SUDDEN CARDIAC ARREST (SCA)
"Prevention of SCA by adopting a healthy diet and lifestyle, regular physical exercise, quitting smoking and regular periodic heart check-up is the only way to reduce the incidence of this public health problem. Awareness of CPR and learning the use of AED devices by laypersons is also extremely important to reduce the harmful consequences of SCA," says Dr Kartikeya Bhargava, Director of Cardiac Electrophysiology & Pacing at Medanta Heart Institute, Gurugram.
LIFESTYLE CHANGES FOR HEALTHY HEART
Dr Chandrashekhar suggests 7 lifestyle changes to prevent heart issues:
The most important thing is to stop smoking. It is a common denominator in those who are dying at the end of it. So one of the best thing one can do for one heart is to stop smoking or using smokeless tobacco because they are also harmful.
If you are not a smoker, you should beware of passive smoking which we call second-hand smoking. Risk of heart disease drops very significantly if you quit smoking for a few days only. And after a year of quitting smoking, the risk of heart disease drops to about half of that of a smoker. So, no matter how long or how much you were smoking earlier, stopping it is going to give you benefits. So quit it as early as possible.
REGULAR EXERCISE (NOT TOO MUCH OF IT)
It is important to exercise regularly. At least 30 to 60 minutes of activity daily is very important because it not only controls your body weight, but it also decreases the chances of developing condition that enhances the risk of heart disease like high blood pressure, high cholesterol level or developing diabetes. So, it is being advocated that at least one should have 150 minutes of exercise in a week or 75 minutes of rigorous training sessions in a week.
If you are not able to do such kind of activity, you can engage yourself in gardening housekeeping or taking stairs while walking around.
EAT HEALTHY DIET
A healthy diet is a must. Consume more vegetables and fruits. If you are a non-vegetarian, eat lean meats like fish and chicken.
Avoid red meat, avoid excessive salt or sugar. Cut down sugar as much as possible and processed carbohydrates or alcohol. Maintaining a healthy weight is also very important. Keep your BMI less than 25 which can prevent incidences of risk factors like high blood pressure or diabetes. But it also helps in improving your chances of getting.
GET QUALITY SLEEP
One thing which has become very common which we are seeing nowadays is people are not getting quality sleep. Getting a quality sleep is also important. You must sleep for at least 7 to 8 hours per day. And it has been seen that those who are having restful sleep have lesser chances of developing high blood pressure, diabetes, depression and heart attacks.
Managing stress is very important and also because it prevents unhealthy things like overeating drinking, smoking. You must engage yourself in meditation, physical activity, relaxation techniques, plus regular health screening is also very important.
CHECK YOU BLOOD PRESSURE
You must check your blood pressure as it is an important aspect of a heart disease. Monitoring should start as early as the age of 18 - you can measure it every two to four years. If you are between 18 to 39 years of age, you can check your blood pressure every year. Cholesterol is also getting very important, especially in those who have a history of young heart attack in the family, parents or siblings.
CHECK YOUR SUGAR LEVELS
If there is a family history of diabetes, one should start screening it at an earlier age. If there is no such history, screening can be started in middle age.