Heart diseases never discriminate against anyone, even children. As per the recent studies conducted by health agencies around the world, Cardiovascular Diseases (CVD) is the world’s biggest killer with an annual casualty of 17.5 million lives. This doesn’t mean you accept it as your fate. Anyone can be a victim of heart problems but maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help your health including heart health on a longer run. Although genetic factors like a family history of heart disease, sex or age can’t be modified or changed, taking necessary preventive measures can reduce the risk and keep your heart health in top condition. Embarking on a healthy lifestyle early in life will benefit even in your 60s and beyond. Every small change in the daily routine assists your overall health, in the long run, helping you to live a long and healthy life.
Let us take a look at the lifestyle changes one should adopt for a healthy life throughout the 20s, 30s, and 40s.
Heart health in the 20s
The 20s are the time when you feel invincible as you are young and energetic. For most people, this is the time when they are being exposed to the world and all the aspects that it presents. All said and done, the kind of habits you develop in these years will lay the groundwork for your life later. The sooner you adopt a healthy lifestyle, the longer it will keep your heart healthy, enabling you to lead an active life in the 60s and 70s. The following measures should be taken in your 20s to keep your heart healthy:
– Adopt a diet that’s free of junk foods. Always make sure you’ve plenty of intake of fruits, vegetables and lean protein (grilled chicken). Instead of drinking sodas, add plenty of calorie-free fresh fruit juices and water to make it a wholesome diet.
– As most of the millennials are into a sedentary life due to the work requirements, it is important to adopt exercise into your daily lives. Try not to sit for long hours, take occasional breaks to walk or stretch yourself while at work.
– Your work life might get hectic in the coming years, but try not to indulge in unhealthy habits that will ruin your health. Most people tend to smoke, drink or do drugs as a measure to ease the stress from their life. These vices give you temporary relief from stress but in the long run, they make you dependent on them while harming your health. Do not indulge in these habits if you haven’t, or say no to smoking, alcohol, drugs, etc for a healthy life.
– For the majority of people, their work requires them to spend most of their time in front of the screen. While you cannot do anything about that, you can take measures to protect yourself from unnecessary screen time. Take breaks in between to rest your eyes, use screen protecting glasses and limit the screen time to as minimal as you can.
Heart health in your 30s and 40s
The 30s and 40s are the time when most of you may be occupied with job and family responsibilities. Often, during this time, people ignore their health and their well being takes a back seat. Follow these few tips to maintain a healthy heart and a healthy life:
– Always fix your annual health checkup while in good health. Getting yourself checked will help you determine your health numbers – blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, BMI – and whether they are in a normal range.
– Yoga and breathing exercises are good ways to manage stress. Practice these daily in your life to Practice these daily in your life to manage stress and to keep your heart healthy.
and to keep your heart healthy.
– Adequate sleep is one of the most important measures for a healthy heart. 6-8 hours of sleep is essential for you at this age.
– Being fit helps in fighting all the diseases. A brisk walk of 30-40 mins every day even on your busiest days will not only help in lowering the risk of heart disease, diabetes but will also help you to control weight.
– WHO (World Health Organization) says healthy adults aged 18-64 should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity (such as walking or swimming) in a week to stay fit.
– Consume more fruits and vegetables and avoid sodas and sugary beverages.
– Restrict yourself from consuming red meat that is high in saturated fats.
– Smoking and alcohol remain the biggest problems for a healthy heart. Quit smoking if you do.
– Always keep a tab on risk factors like blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes, etc.
On World Heart Day, September 29, let us raise awareness about heart health. And let us urge people to make a promise to eat more healthily, to get more active, and say no to smoking.
Dr. Gundurao Harsh Joshi, Cardiologist, Narayana Multispeciality Hospital – HSR layout
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