Pumping nutrient-rich blood to all parts of the body, supplying oxygen while removing toxins and waste, the heart is undoubtedly a vital organ. And heart health is central to overall health! Dr Rajpal Singh, Director-Interventional Cardiology, Fortis Hospital, Bengaluru, says, “Most of us have a healthy heart and physical agility in our 30s. As the saying goes, what we sow, is what we reap. This also applies to how our heart responds post our 30s.”
Dr Rajpal shares some important tips to keeping your heart healthy for the years to come.
Inculcating the habit of regular physical exercise in your routine is a great way of avoiding cardiac related illnesses such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol levels, thereby reducing the risk of developing heart diseases. “Exercise can be in any form, sports, swimming or just simple brisk walking 40 minutes daily or at least 5 times a week,” advises Dr Rajpal.
“A diet rich in proteins and lean on carbohydrates and fat is recommended. This should be coupled with a healthy intake of dried fruits, five portions of fruit a day, minimum salt intake, good hydration, and alcohol in moderation,” says Dr Rajpal. Also go for small portions at regular intervals, rather than binge eating.
Smoking is, by far, the worst enemy of the heart, responsible for several heart related ailments. “A smoker is twice as likely to develop a heart attack compared to a non-smoker, and 3-4 times more likely to die from one, compared to non-smoker. It takes just about a year for one's cardiovascular risk to halve after smoking cessation, and two years to come down to the same risk as that of a non-smoker,” states Dr Rajpal. Notably, passive or second-hand smoking also has similar deleterious effects.
“Prevention is better than cure. So, once you are in your 30s, it is recommended that you undergo regular heart and health check-up at least once a year,” says Dr Rajpal. Further to this, those with high cardiac risk profile like smokers, those with diabetes or hypertension, obese individuals, those with a family history of premature heart diseases, etc. should meet a cardiologist and get assessed in detail.
“All the above mentioned aspects should go hand-in-hand, and coupled with good sleep and positive thoughts, your efforts will go a long way in keeping your post 30s heart healthy,” concludes Dr Rajpal.