Cardiometabolic health: Essential tips for preventing heart disease and diabetes | Health - Hindustan Times

Cardiometabolic health: Essential tips for preventing heart disease and diabetes

ByZarafshan Shiraz, New Delhi
Jun 13, 2024 05:58 PM IST

From heart to metabolism, cardiometabolic health matters. Here's how to prevent heart disease and diabetes with essential steps to cardiometabolic wellness

Cardiometabolic health, which is fundamental to our overall well-being, involves the optimal functioning of our cardiovascular and metabolic systems. This aspect of health is pivotal, as it not only influences our physical vitality but also plays a significant role in preventing chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and obesity so, we are taking this Thursday as a timely reminder of the essential steps we can take to maintain and improve our cardiometabolic health.

Cardiometabolic health: Essential tips for preventing heart disease and diabetes (Photo by RDNE Stock project on Pexels)
Cardiometabolic health: Essential tips for preventing heart disease and diabetes (Photo by RDNE Stock project on Pexels)

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Ramesh Gudapati, Chief of Cardiology and Joint Managing Director at STAR Hospitals in Hyderabad, shared, “Cardiometabolic health is pivotal in a person’s overall well-being, serving as a cornerstone for a healthy and fulfilling life. Optimal cardiometabolic function is essential for maintaining vital organs, including the heart, blood vessels, and metabolism. Moreover, only when these systems are balanced will a person experience improved energy levels, enhanced cognitive function, and better emotional resilience.”

To ensure good cardiometabolic health, Dr Ramesh Gudapati advised, “It is essential to prioritise certain activities as, in the long term, they can help to reduce the risk of chronic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and obesity, while extending longevity and enhancing quality of life. In other words, by nurturing cardiometabolic health through lifestyle choices and preventive measures, individuals can unlock their full potential for vitality and well-being.”

Why Is Cardiometabolic Health So Important?

Dr Ramesh Gudapati explained, “Understanding the importance of cardiometabolic health entails recognising the intricate relationship between various physiological factors that influence cardiovascular function and metabolic processes within the body. It encompasses several key components, including blood pressure, cholesterol levels, blood sugar regulation, and body weight management. Blood pressure is the force exerted by circulating blood against the walls of arteries. Elevated blood pressure, or hypertension, can strain the heart and increase the risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attacks and strokes. Cholesterol is a lipid molecule essential for cellular function but can also cause atherosclerosis when levels are too high, leading to narrowed arteries and compromised blood flow.”

He elaborated, “Blood sugar, or glucose, is the primary energy source for cells. Dysregulated blood sugar levels, as seen in diabetes, can damage blood vessels and organs over time, raising the risk of heart disease and other complications. Finally, maintaining a healthy balance between caloric intake and energy expenditure is vital to preventing obesity, a significant risk factor for cardiometabolic diseases. Recognising these components and understanding their interactions and role in the human body helps to assess and manage cardiometabolic health. By adopting a holistic approach that addresses lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, stress management, and regular medical screenings, individuals can optimize their cardiometabolic well-being and reduce the risk of developing chronic conditions.”

What Lifestyle Modifications Can Be Implemented To Promote Good Cardiometabolic Health?

Implementing lifestyle modifications is crucial for promoting good cardiometabolic health. Dr Ramesh Gudapati recommended incorporating the following habits into daily routines to improve cardiometabolic health and reduce the risk of developing heart disease, diabetes and other related conditions -

  1. Balanced Diet: A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats can support heart health and metabolic function. Limiting processed foods, saturated fats, and added sugars intake is also highly recommended.
  2. Regular Physical Activity: Regular exercise, such as brisk walking, jogging, cycling, or swimming, helps improve cardiovascular fitness, control weight, and regulate blood sugar levels. Every person must aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week, along with muscle-strengthening activities on two or more days.
  3. Weight Management: Maintaining a healthy weight through balanced meals and exercise reduces the risk of obesity-related cardiometabolic conditions. Obese people must achieve gradual, sustainable weight loss to reduce the risk of these diseases.
  4. Stress Management: Chronic stress can negatively impact cardiometabolic health. Stress-reduction techniques such as mindfulness, meditation, deep breathing exercises, and engaging in hobbies or activities you enjoy can help manage stress levels.
  5. Adequate Sleep: Getting 7-9 hours of quality sleep every night is vital. Poor sleep can disrupt hormone regulation, increase inflammation, and negatively affect metabolism and cardiovascular health, making it an essential aspect of overall well-being.
  6. Regular Health Screenings: Schedule regular check-ups with a healthcare provider to monitor blood pressure, cholesterol levels, blood sugar, and other key markers of cardiometabolic health. Early detection and intervention can help prevent or manage chronic conditions effectively.

How To Seek Support and Overcome Barriers to Cardiometabolic Health?

Dr Ramesh Gudapati suggested, “To seek support and overcome barriers to cardiometabolic health, individuals must take proactive steps to enhance their well-being. First and foremost, establishing a relationship with a healthcare provider is crucial. This allows personalized guidance, monitoring, and support tailored to individual needs. Additionally, individuals should be aware of the plethora of available resources, including support groups, educational programs, and online resources dedicated to improving cardiometabolic health. These platforms offer valuable information, peer support, and practical tips for managing conditions effectively.”

He concluded, “At the same time, it is vital to address common obstacles that may hinder progress, such as time constraints, financial concerns, or lack of motivation is essential. In this regard, practical strategies like setting realistic goals, breaking tasks into manageable steps, and seeking social support should be implemented. In conclusion, staying committed to health goals and utilizing available resources can help individuals, especially those vulnerable and at risk of cardiovascular problems, navigate challenges and achieve optimal health and wellness.”

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