Cardiac health statistics for India are growing more alarming every year. Every day, there’s news about a new breakthrough study about beating heart disease, or a new miracle diet. What most people don’t realize is that heart health does not come down to one miraculous change, but a set of long-term life decisions. When these seemingly small changes are incorporated into your daily life, you can reap the benefits of a robust heart and general wellness.
1) Monitor your alcohol intake
Saying cheers occasionally, especially with red wine, has been clinically proven to be good for your heart. However, keeping your alcohol intake moderate is a smart decision for your long-term heart health. Excessive alcohol consumption has been linked to cardiomyopathy, where heart muscles are weakened. Limit your alcohol intake to social occasions, and drinking a couple of glasses of wine after dinner.
2) Do more housework
Don’t groan yet! We know that household chores aren’t the most exciting things on the planet, but hear us out. Bustling around your house, vacuuming, and arranging things can burn more calories than you think. On the days when you don’t have enough time to get your workout fix, raise your activity levels in the comfort of your home. Put some great music on, and pretend that you are the champion of the vacuuming Olympics!
3) Check your family history
Studies have shown that apart from lifestyle choices, genetics play a big role in determining your risk of developing heart disease. This is where preventive lifestyle choices come into play. It is worthwhile to check your family’s medical history for instances of high blood pressure, strokes and other common cardiac conditions. These could indicate a higher risk of you developing a cardiac problem. If you think you are genetically predisposed, take efforts to consult a physician in advance, maintaining physical fitness through activity, and making smart dietary choices. You know what they say about prevention being better than a cure.
Sounds obvious, but it is important to state this. Stress levels are fast becoming the biggest cause of heart disease around the world. With a busy work schedule, you might realize how much pressure your brain and heart are under. Find enjoyable activities – no matter what they are – to indulge in and take the steam off. Go hiking with friends, throw a dinner party, or join a reading group. Enjoy your life, count your blessings, and make an effort to laugh more. Take the load off your heart.
There is no absolute mantra that results in optimum heart health. It’s a result of long-term and holistic choices in every area of life. Most importantly, it’s the result of listening to your body and responding to its changes. Every heartbeat is trying to tell you something. Are you listening?