Heart Attack is a scary word. For most people, heart attack refers to all the illnesses of the heart and pain in the chest that would lead to certain death or limited life expectancy. Many even confuse between heart attack and stroke and use the terms interchangeably. However, no matter how the word is understood or whatever be the misconceptions, the fact remains that Heart Attack is a health concern – now more than ever. Also Read: Heart Disease and Diabetes: What is the connection between the two?(Opens in a new browser tab)
With the pandemic raging through the country, the instances of heart attacks have also seen a sharp rise. Reports state that one of the leading causes of death in COVID is Heart Attack or Myocardial infarction (MI). Even for those who have recovered from COVID, heart health is a pressing concern. Separate reports have recorded a rise in heart attack related deaths in people, with many of those who had recovered from COVID not too long ago. Many have reported increased discomfort and chest pains with doctors worrying about ‘weakened heart’. Also Read: First thing you need to do for sustainable weight loss – Top Nutritionist shares insights(Opens in a new browser tab)
All the studies, symptoms and the situation only emphasizes on the importance of acting on taking care of your heart. While infection, genetic makeup or other situations cannot be really helped. However, slight modification and changes in your lifestyle can significantly reduce the risk of a heart attack. Here are 5 lifestyle changes you must incorporate now for a healthier heart and a tomorrow.
5 Lifestyle Habits that increases the risk of Heart Attack
Consumption of too much salty food
Studies have confirmed that high intake of salt can effectively increase your chances of a coronary heart diseases. The salt of high sodium content in your blood leads to hypertension or high blood pressure. It impacts the normal balance or your body, putting additional pressure on the heart muscles.
Change Now – Start by moderating your diet and limiting your salt intake. People in high risk category (people suffering from high BP, obesity, co-morbidities, etc.) should actively work on reducing and limiting the sodium intake. The first step in this direction could be giving up processed food of all kinds. Most of the processed foods (anything you can get in a packet and eat quickly) are high in sodium and other salts. Stopping their consumption could go a long way towards a healthy lfie.
COVID and the nature of work has only worsened the increasing concerns over an inactive and sedentary lifestyle.
Sitting for long hours whether for work. Or maybe for any other reason. Now this inactivity is associated with the increase in the number of cases of heart attack. But how to check or change that? Its easier than you think.
Being active is the key. Moving around the house, doing chores, getting up from your seat every hour to just move around – all can help you reduce your risk. Start with a simple change – for every hour that you sit, make sure that you stand for 15 minutes. So, if you work for 8 hours – try to stand for 120 minutes or 2 hours. It may sound really big but is easy. A small habit of leaving your chair for 15 minutes and walking about or standing would effectively improve your health. A little exercise, 30 minute morning walks or just 15 min walks twice a day – all would help. The goal – move around.
There is no other way to say it – Smoking kills. It has been shown to increase the risks of coronary heart diseases multifold. How to reduce the risk of heart disease or heart failiure / attack – QUIT SMOKING Now. Not this week, or month or year, quit it now.
Understandably the habit is not easy to give up. For someone who has been smoking for a long time, it becomes more and more difficult. For that, there are aides available. Counseling, family support or help from doctors – one or all may be needed. But a simple modification in this lifestyle would have long term benefits.
Consumption of Alcohol
Alcohol has been associated to Coronary Vascular Diseases or CVDs for a long time. It is also linked to an increased chance of heart attack, even in a relatively healthy person. People may cite that a little alcohol is good for heart, etc., reducing it would be perhaps the best thing for your heart.
Fact – when you consume alcohol, it is broken down and rebuilt into triglycerides and cholesterol in the liver. Fact – Increased levels of triglycerides and cholesterol is a leading reason for CVDs and yes – heart attacks as they restrict the blood flow to the heart. Hence, fact – reducing alcohol or giving it up is good for your heart and reduces the risk.
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.