World Heart Day 2022: We have entered a post-Covid era where, even after the pandemic is over, diseases continue. Being locked in our homes for two years has made us lethargic and stressed out, some of us no longer want to participate in physical activities or indulge in an active lifestyle. Yet there are some who have started overexerting themselves with gymming and swallowing protein jars! What’s lacking is balance—equal parts regular exercise with healthy dietary habits.
On this World Heart Day, we discuss the causes of deterioration of heart health Dr Prashant Pawar Senior Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Fortis Hospital, Navi Mumbai. He is an expert in Interventional Cardiology, Heart Failure and Preventive Cardiology. He talks about bad eating habits, a sedentary lifestyle, stress levels, addictions and more. He speaks for the heart and for the heart as he tells us how we can keep the heart healthy and happy.
With the recent demise of celebrities like Raju Srivastava and Sidharth Shukla, heart issues have come under the mainstream media and are being discussed about the same. Earlier the age limit was 50 years when there was a heart attack or any heart related problem but now these incidents are happening a decade back, especially in case of these celebrities who were mostly healthy.
Bad eating habits- Lots of junk food, no physical activity, working 8-10 hours from home, moving around on the couch and overeating can increase cholesterol levels and contribute to obesity. Often it is stress that plays a major role in the development of this lifestyle because even though it is work from home for most of us, people continue to experience a lot of stress (home or office) which can trigger stress hormones. Enables the release of cortisol.
The incidence rates of hypertension and cholesterol were much higher during the COVID period as compared to the data for the past decade. Simultaneously, mental health also played an important role in the creation of a sedentary lifestyle because experiencing loss, in one or some cases, more family members led to depressive symptoms and higher stress levels.
Cigarette smoking is a widespread lifestyle choice in our society today. Now, it can be a result of stress at work or home as men under 22 are having heart attacks and smoking is the main cause of such conditions. Smoking kills slowly and slowly, if not immediately. Alcohol is also an equal contributor to these increasing cardiovascular problems.
With not much physical activity for two long years, people have suddenly shifted to a healthier lifestyle with excessive workout sessions and no-fiber foods. The heart is no longer prepared for such sudden changes that can lead to a cardiac event. Untrained people trying to train youngsters in high intensity workouts by running them on TMT for hours is a matter of concern.
Young people who get ready for these strenuous workouts end up with early cardiovascular problems because smoking leads to a lot of thrombosis which is blood clotting in some part of circulatory system and coronary artery. A blockage occurs resulting in increased blood levels. Cholesterol.
Eat fresh fruits and avoid fried foods, eat more green leafy vegetables and eat homemade meals rich in protein and reduce your fat and carbohydrate intake. Processed foods are high in sodium/salt which is a big red flag for your heart health. It is impractical to introduce a western diet in Indian households, so instead of eating quinoa, you should know what is home cooked in your kitchen and even consuming processed baked goods is not a healthy option as they contain trans. There is something called fat and palm oil which increases cholesterol. level in the depositories. Stay away from red meat; Chicken, fish and eggs can be consumed.
world heart day message
People should get out of this boredom but not by over stressing their body and heart and should always go for regular heart test as knowing their heart is essential to make any changes in lifestyle. Before you buy a house, you do a complete inspection of the house, so why not do the same to your body? Routine tests can tell us a lot about how the effects of heart rate, cholesterol levels and high blood pressure are building up in our bodies and how they are affecting them. Exercise is important, but it doesn’t overwhelm, instead stick to a 20-30 minute workout routine that could be simple walking, cycling or swimming. Just make smart choices.