The World Heart Federation has chosen the following theme for this year’s World Heart Day, celebrated on Sept 29:
For my heart, for your heart, for all our hearts
Stats from all over the world indicate that cardiovascular disease is the number one killer in the world today. However, this is a 100% man-made phenomenon and it doesn’t have to be this way at all.
With just a few small changes to our lifestyle and habits, we can make sure we reduce the chances of heart disease and heart attacks down to zero for not only ourselves but those around us as well.
The improvement of our quality of life and the stress-free nature of our days would just be a pleasant side-effect of making these tweaks to our lifestyles!
- Schedule a Yearly Check-up – Your heart and your overall health and well-being are in your hands, no one else’s. Each year on your birthday, schedule a check-up to have your blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose levels checked, and ask your doctor to help you reach or maintain a healthy weight.
- Regular Exercise – It isn’t rocket science. If you keep your heart strong and well-lubricated, it will stand you in good stead. WHO recommends 150 minutes of intense exercise every week for a healthy heart.
- Drink That H2O – Keeping the body well hydrated is a vital part of cardiovascular health. Eight glasses of water a day is the norm for an equatorial country like India.
- Eat Healthily – Follow the Out-of-Sight-Out-of-Mind rule. According to this rule, if junk food is visible or in close proximity, the mind is drawn towards it. So, keep junk food or oily food away from your physical self and the craving for it will gradually fade away from the mind as well. It helps if you put raw veggies and fruits in the refrigerator too.
- Control Cholesterol – To help keep your cholesterol levels down, eat foods low in saturated fat and trans fat, such as fruits and veggies, low-fat or fat-free dairy products, and whole grains.
- Cut Down on Salts – For those who live a sedentary lifestyle, salts are anathema. You have to watch your salt intake to have a healthy heart. Eat simple foods. As experts say, eat what your grandmother used to eat. Drop those pizzas and burgers, which are high in salts and junk carbs.
- Get Enough Sleep – Arguably, the most important point of all. Sleep is an essential part of keeping your heart healthy. If you don’t sleep enough, you are at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease, no matter your age or other healthy habits. Make sleep a priority. WHO recommends 46 – 48 hours of sleep a week with a minimum of 6 hours daily.
- Get Health Insurance – In the last 50 years, humanity’s lifestyle has changed drastically, something that our bodies are not used to or made to cope up with. On the other hand, we can’t just leave our lives in the busy city behind and go live in the jungles. This is why a safety net is required for your health. A health plan provides the following benefits:
- Health plans cover large hospitalization costs in case of planned treatments, surgeries, and even emergencies in return for affordable premiums. If you visit a network hospital, the treatment can even be cashless.
- A health plan protects you and your family from the financial burden of expensive treatments.
- Family-floater plans allow you to cover the entire family under a single health plan for marginally higher premiums.
- High-quality treatments with no compromises.
- Tax benefits up to ₹ 20,280 under Section 80(D).
- Under Section 80(D), tax-deductions can be claimed up to ₹ 65,000.
(Source and Credits: Clever and Clinic, UWHealth, World Heart Federation, World Health Organization)