7 heart health tips to prevent cardiovascular diseases this festive season | Health

Cardiovascular disease is a global issue and many factors contribute to it – some of which we can’t control. However, amid the festive season, we need to be extra careful of our heart health.

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Tilak Suvarna, Cardiologist at the Asian Heart Institute in Mumbai, suggested a few ways in which we can prevent cardiovascular diseases this festive season and achieve mastery over our heart habits. They are –

1. Meditate mindfully – Meditating daily has been known to help reduce stress. Additionally, try to avoid unhealthy coping mechanisms like overeating, drinking, or smoking when you’re feeling overwhelmed – these will only make things worse in the long run. Mindfulness also helps you maintain the discipline of taking existing medications on time.

2. Avoid excess smoking and alcohol – While enjoying the festivities, it’s important to be aware of what your heart needs. Avoid excessive smoking, using smokeless tobacco, or being exposed to second-hand smoke. These things can reduce the oxygen in your blood, leading to increased blood pressure and heart rate.

3. Sleep soundly – A good night’s sleep is essential to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. This is highly underrated. Late nights out celebrating can wreak havoc on your sleeping patterns and as a result, your body clock. Whenever possible, make sure to get the proper amount of sleep and rest. Lack of sleep can trigger a higher risk of obesity, high blood pressure, heart attack, diabetes and depression. A healthy sleep cycle refers to at least seven hours of sleep each night.

4. Take the stairs – No matter how much rest you give your body during the holidays, it’s important to stay active and get at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. Regular physical activity has been shown to reduce the risk of obesity, high blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator is one small step that can make a big difference in your health.

5. Eat fresh – A healthy diet is essential all year round, but it’s especially important during Indian festivities when there are often tempting sweets and oily foods everywhere. Try to consume plenty of fruits and vegetables on a regular basis to help protect your heart, improve your blood pressure and cholesterol, and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. Limit your intake of or avoid processed foods or drinks, sugary snacks, and salty snacks as much as possible.

6. Read a lot – Reading is known to reduce stimulation and make room for thinking deeply about one’s choices. Whenever there is a problem you’re faced with, there’s a book that has an answer. Reading helps us be more present, in the moment and aware of our mind and body.

7. Yoga helps – Yoga is believed to help detoxify the body, mitigate chronic fatigue, enhance endurance, improve organ and immune functions. Thus, it is known to lower cardiovascular risk factors and promote a healthier lifestyle.

Following a healthy lifestyle plan by achieving the above tips is key to prevention and this is entirely in your hands.

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