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ByZarafshan Shiraz, New Delhi

Heart diseases are like little ticking bombs planted in every Indian heart, regardless of age as due to urbanisation in India, physical movement has decreased and the mental race has sky-rocketed. Less moving, more stressing – that’s the deal with high sugar and highly processed food only worsening the situation.

Heart diseases are on a rise in India: 5 daily habits that can help keep your cardiovascular health in check (Image by Freepik)

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Bimal Chhajer, Senior Cardiologist, Former Consultant at AIIMS and Director at SAAOL Heart Centre in New Delhi, cautioned that it is an undeniable fact that the cases of heart diseases in India are on the extreme rise, which makes it extremely important to adopt such daily habits and practices that promote good heart health. He advised a few important daily habits that can help keep heart health in check:

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  1. Healthy well balanced diet – A balanced diet should consist of a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and minimal amounts of oil used in cooking. Limit your consumption of processed, high-sugar, and trans fat foods as well. Instead, choose healthy cooking oils like canola or olive.
  2. Regular physical activities – Make an effort to regularly exercise for at least 30 minutes each day. This can include exercises that raise your heart rate, such as cycling or brisk walking, as they can all assist to improve the health of your heart overall.
  3. Quit smoking and avoid the consumption of alcohol – It is strongly advised to give up drinking alcohol since it can lead to a number of heart-related diseases and to stop smoking in order to reduce the risk of cardiac problems associated with tobacco use.
  4. Regular checkups – Scheduling routine check-ups with your doctors for overall health and heart monitoring is the most important habit to always keep heart health in check. This allows for the early detection and timely intervention of potential issues, including the routine monitoring of blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
  5. Focus on quality sleep – Make sure you strive for 7-9 hours of uninterrupted, high-quality sleep each night, as this will have a substantial impact on your general health and well-being, including heart health and overall stress reduction.

Saurabh Bothra, CEO and Certified Yoga Instructor at Habuild assured that the ticking bomb of cardiovascular diseases in our hearts can be defused by keeping our heart health in check and suggested 5 daily habits that can make it happen –

  1. Make 30-40 minutes of movement non-negotiable! Exercise strengthens heart muscles, increases HDL (good cholesterol), reduces inflammation and relieves stress. It can potentially reduce belly fat, which is associated with increased risk of heart disease. Avoid over exercising. If you’ve got high blood pressure, start slow with low-intensity exercises. Focus on making it a habit without compromising convenience.
  2. Include healthy fats in your diet. Foods rich in unsaturated fat and omega-3 fatty acids support heart health. Eg. Walnuts, nuts and seeds, avocados, flax seeds, chia seeds, cold-pressed peanut oil, etc.
  3. Be a label detective. Scan product ingredient lists as many sneak in refined or palm oil which puts our hearts at risk. It’s time to make informed choices.
  4. Use practices like Pranayama and meditation as your shield against stress. Remember, stress triggers the release of cortisol, diverting the body’s attention away from essential functions for heart health.
  5. Get quality sleep. It allows the heart to rest, recover, and maintain optimal function, contributing significantly to overall heart health

It is possible to maintain a healthy heart by simply making the right lifestyle choices. In the end, it is all about cultivating healthier habits that keep heart diseases away.

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