The heart forms the centre of our existence, both physical and emotional. Despite its incessant hard work and unending loyalty, it is not cared for as much. We claim that love resides in the heart but fail to maintain love’s abode. We blame it for all the wrong choices we make in our lives but do not credit it for the healthy lives we lead. Add to it the stress of our busy everyday routines, the sedentary lifestyles we embrace and the unhealthy food choices we give in to- you get the recipe for a heart disease.
The fistful of muscles that pump steadily do not demand too much from us. A few lifestyle changes as simple as staying active, eating healthy and being happy are enough to maintain good heart health, according to World Heart Federation. These small steps can achieve big goals.
Here are some #ChhoteKadam towards heart health:
Regular physical activity not only helps you in controlling weight and toning your body but also helps prevent the risk of heart diseases. You don’t necessarily need to go to a gym or go jogging(though it would be great and enviable if you can do that). The trick lies in incorporating physical activity in your daily routine:
- Walk for 30 minutes everyday. If you cannot, make small changes like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking back from your workplace by ditching the cab or even walking instead of sitting while answering your phone.
- Get into a group activity of you lack motivation. Join a zumba class, dance lessons, swimming or play sports with your friends. It is a great way to socialise and stay fit at the same time.
- Motivate yourself by tracking how many calories you burnt, the number of steps you walked or the weight you lost. In case you wish to reward yourself, go ahead and do it unless the gift comprises of a doughnut!
It is not without reason that it is said that we are what we eat. A healthy, well balanced diet shapes our physical health and determines the health status.
- Do not give in to temptations of eating out and packaged meals. Restrict outside food to once a week.
- Do not go on crash diets or binge eating sprees. Maintain a balance.
- If you are a non-vegetarian, opt for fish which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids(good for the heart) instead of red meat. If you are a vegetarian, you can get these ”good” fatty acids from nuts like walnuts.
- Keep cholesterol in check and eat oats which lower LDL(bad) cholesterol.
- Reduce the amount of oil you consume.
- Stop smoking all together. This is a no-brainer. Smoking has no benefits and a zillion harmful effects, one of which is the risk of heart disease.
Your outlook towards life does not only determine the number of friends you have but also your risk for heart disease. Happy people are at lower risk for cardiac disease than sad, depressed ones and various studies have proved this from time to time. Although the mechanism is not clear, it has been repeatedly observed that positive feelings have a bearing on better outcomes in heart disease patients. A smile does set everything right!
- Happiness or a positive outlook in life results in a better overall health status.
- Meditation, yoga and relaxation techniques help in achieving lower levels of stress.
- Happier people have better sleep patterns, do not indulge in smoking and binge drinking and take better care of themselves, which may be one reason for the association.
We make promises, commit a lot of things on special days like Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Friendship Day and so on and so forth….why not promise our hearts to take these # ChhoteKadam towards healthier hearts on this World Heart Day? Afterall, we owe it that much!