World Heart Day 2023: Significance of good 'Heart Health' and tips for preventing 'heart disease'
Why is it necessary to look after our hearts? Strong heart health is the cornerstone of an individual's total well-being. These are some of the reasons why having a healthy heart is essential.
In an era where workload takes up most of our time, maintaining our health takes a backseat. Our heart is the most vital organ which keeps our body functioning smoothly. Maintaining good heart health increases the need to live a healthy and long life. Heart disease remains to the top the world’s leading disease chart by accounting to most of the deaths reported from across the world. The good news is that nearly 80 per cent of the risk factors are within our control.
Why is it important to take care of our heart? Robust heart health is the key foundation of the overall well-being of an individual. These are some of the reasons as to why maintaining a good heart is crucial.
- Improves Quality of Life: Maintaining good heart health improves quality of life by helping you participate in activities you love.
- Curtails healthcare expenses: Preventing heart disease helps reduce half of your healthcare costs.
- Longevity: A strong, healthy heart helps you have a long, positive, and fulfilling life.
- Improved Mental Health Well-Being: Our heart and mind are strongly interrelated. A healthy heart supports better cognitive function and overall improved mental health. It also helps reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s or dementia.
- Increased energy levels and vitality: The most fundamental function of our heart is to pump oxygen rich blood to each and every cell in the body. When our heart functions optimally, we feel more energized and our vitals improve, keeping us hale and healthy.
What are some of the tips practiced or suggested across the world for maintaining optimal heart fitness? These are some of the most well-known or practiced tips recommended to maintain optimal heart fitness:
- Regular exercise: Investing at least 75-150 minutes in moderate-intensity or vigorous-intensity weekly helps keep the heart healthy and improves blood circulation.
- Stress Management: Deep- seated stress affects your heart directly. By practicing stress – reduction techniques like yoga, meditation, etc. you could safely guard your heart and keep it beating for a long time.
- Healthy diet: A healthy, balanced diet that includes equal amounts of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats helps improve overall health. Also, remember to limit your sugar, salt, and saturated fats intake.
- Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight puts extra pressure on your heart. Try to achieve a healthy body mass index and maintain it consistently.
- Avoid smoking: Smoking is one of the major causes of rise in cardiovascular diseases. Quitting smoking is the only solution for protecting your heart health. Smoking damages the blood vessels, decreases oxygen levels in the blood and increases blood pressure thus putting excessive strain on the heart.
- Monitor blood pressure, cholesterol and Sugar: Regular health check-ups are important for identifying probable risk factors and to help overcome them. Monitor blood pressure and cholesterol & Sugar regularly. High cholesterol, blood pressure & Sugar damage the arteries and increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
- Stay adequately hydrated: Ensure that you are hydrated. Dehydration leads to disruption in heart function and overall functioning of the body.
For a long, healthy life, it is crucial to prioritize good heart health. By implementing these suggestions and leading a healthy lifestyle, your chance of developing heart disease can be considerably decreased. Take action today to ensure a healthier tomorrow because your heart deserves the best care.
-By Dr. Renish Bera, Consultant Cardiologist, HCG Hospitals, Rajkot