On World Heart Day: 5 tips to lead a heart-healthy life

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Today on World heart day, we thought of reminding you about the most important part of your body that we generally tend to forget while munching on our beloved fast food, drinking aerated drinks and what not.

We have round about 30 million heart patients in the country and the prevalence of diseases differ between urban and rural areas and since urban areas are comparatively less, about 13 to 14 million cases come from urban areas and the rest are from rural areas, well-known cardiologist, Dr. O P Yadav told SheThePeople.TV. Now what about women? How often do they catch the disease? Dr. Yadav enlightens us, “Till the menopausal age, women are protected from the coronary artery disease but beyond that age they have the same chances of developing the disease as men.”

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He added, “Coronary artery disease is the most common heart disease today which is blockage of the artery causing your heart to give heart attack. Now till 45 years of age or till the menopausal age the ratio of men and women developing such heart attack is 10:1. This is because women are protected by the hormones provided by the oestrogen in them till before menopause. Within five years of achieving menopause the ratio among men and women becomes 1:1.”

While Dr. Yadav also articulated that other kinds of heart disease like rheumatic heart disease, which is the problem of the valves, and congenital heart disease, which is the kind one is born with, develop in young men and women at the same rate.

About younger women developing any kind of heart disease, he explains that the rheumatic heart disease develops in a person in under-developed and poor conditions, in such cases women are mostly neglected because of our Indian psyche. They are always presented in the hospital a little later than men. When they are detected with the disease they are not cared for as much as a boy would be.

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One must be very quick in realising any change in their body and get it diagnosed, but to stay a bit safer, here are the five tips straight from Dr. Yadav that will pull down the risk of any heart disease in you;

  • Keep Walking

Just don’t be sedentary; walking is the single most important thing to do. If you are obese and you are physically active, it is much better than being a normal weight but physically inactive. Even small walks around the house count.

  • Watch your tummy

Our biggest problem in South East Asia, we have much higher rates of heart attacks is because we have visceral obesity. Obesity around shoulder and hip is fine but around your waist is unhealthy. We also have something called matchstick obesity where some people have thin legs and like a matchstick top they have tummy on top. Don’t let that paunch show and control your weight.

  • Watch your diet

Today the biggest culprit today is sugar. Both fats and sugar are bad but if you have to choose one- keep the empty calories away. Few examples of empty calories are- Aerated drinks, sweetened juices, confectionary products like cakes and candies. Then comes the trans-fats which is essentially repeated frying present in Haldiram products, French fries, samosas and all those things are very harmful.

  • Keep away from tobacco

Both smoked and unsmoked tobacco is injurious to health. The unsmoked one is the Gutkha that Indians are very fond of. Passive smoking is equally harmful as active smoking. People who smoke inside their house, they are damaging themselves and every single member of their house including small children.

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  • Find effective ways to deal with stress

It can be taken care by doing simple things like keep smiling, keep laughing, meditation, and yoga. Developing a hobby also helps keeping the stress away.

Feature Image Credit: Heart Health

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