How to ensure heart health while at home: Tips for all age groups& |  Photo Credit: iStock Images
- Wordwide, heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women
- A heart-healthy lifestyle will also improve your overall health and well-being
- Here are some simple steps you can take to reduce all of the modifiable risk factors for heart disease, heart attack and stroke
Home isolation and other measures put in place to help curb the spread of the coronavirus during the pandemic have changed our lives. While the younger generation is busy working from home and online binge-watching, elderly people have become further inactive, and are ignoring their health issues. The fear of acquiring COVID-19 is preventing many from seeking timely medical advice even in emergency conditions. This has undeniably taken a toll on our heart health. Simple lifestyle alterations, if made timely in various age groups can assure that our heart remains fit and healthy. Perhaps, you are never too young or too old to take care of your heart.
Tips to keep your heart healthy
There are some risk factors outside of your control, however, there are plenty of ways you can lower your chances of developing heart disease. Here are some tips suggested by Dr Manish Hinduja, Consultant Cardio-Thoracic Surgery, Fortis Hospital, Mulund, that people of all age groups can follow to keep their heart in tip-top shape while at home:
- Lockdown diet: Regardless of age, a healthy diet is a must for a healthy heart. Increasing consumption of greens, fruits and limiting the intake of junk food and red meat are good for your heart. Adequate water intake is equally crucial.
- Stick to a routine: Waking up and going to sleep at regular times, taking adequate breaks during the day, and making weekends relaxing will bring a sense of normalcy in your life.
- Relax, laugh, and socialise digitally: Isolation is known to cause depression, which also affects your heart. Video calling your closed ones, having e-get together, joining virtual learning sessions, meditation and yoga help to let out your stress enormously
- Stop smoking and avoid excessive alcohol: Smoking increases the oxidative stress leading to blockages in arteries. Excessive alcoholism decreases your immunity and makes you prone to infections.
For ages 30-49 years
- Watch your weight: According to a European study, 1 in 3 individuals have gained weight in lockdown. Try to maintain a weekly weight and waist circumference record, and keep your BMI between 18.5 and 24.9.
- Let your heart pump more: Any exercise is better than no exercise. If you live with family, distribute the home chores and try to make it a fun activity. Participate in moderate exercises (like brisk walking, aerobics or dancing) for at least 30 minutes a day.
- Regular breaks from work: Timely breaks, inculcating simple hobbies like gardening, reading or learning a new language can help you unwind.
For ages 50-69 years
- Keep yourself active: Avoid sitting for prolonged periods of time. Simple home exercises and stretching can keep your heart active.
- Seek medical attention when needed: Do not ignore chest pain, undue breathlessness swelling of legs or dizziness. These could be the indication of your new onset cardiac illness.
For those in age groups 70 years and beyond
- Continue prescribed medications: Those diagnosed with heart conditions, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol should continue their medications. Arrange for regular online consultations and consider measuring blood pressure, sugar levels at home.
- Be heart smart: Learn the warning signs of heart attack. Early intervention can be life-saving in cardiac emergencies.
To sum up, a healthy heart leads to a happy life. As it is rightly said, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a professional healthcare provider if you have any specific questions about any medical matter.
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