People were more active in the past and did not shy away from hard manual labour or at least practised some daily physical activity like walking. In addition, in many homes, the family members did all the work, which ensured some physical exertion. However, now, with so much convivence, people are not used to much labour and prefer to avoid walking even for short distances and instead opt for vehicular transportation like cars, autos, metros, and rickshaws.
Our diet too has undergone a lot of changes in recent years. Earlier, there was a focus on traditional Indian meals, rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, fruits, and nuts. However, as time has passed, more and more families are adopting a Western diet, which leans towards food items with a lot of Maida and bread, most of which have low fibre content. Additionally, there is an increase in the consumption of junk food, high-fat dairy products, and red meat. As a result, our diet has become rich in fats, saturated fats, and cholesterol, leading to poor heart health. Substance abuse in form of smoking, alcohol, tobacco and bodybuilding steroids can be another factor to cause heart related health issues.
To ensure a healthy heart, teaching good lifestyle habits, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, and quality sleep, is essential. These habits must be taught in children and adolescents at a young age to maintain good cardiovascular health as they age.
Chronic stress is associated with increased cardiovascular problems. While this is not specific to any gender, it is essential to tackle stress effectively. Also, while it is impossible to be completely stress-free, simple techniques like regular exercise, relaxation techniques, getting adequate sleep, and connecting with your support network can play a vital role in decreasing stress levels and improving your physical and mental health.
There is no age group which is not affected by heart-related ailments and cardiac issues. The risk of heart problems can begin in childhood and then escalate in the later years. It is important to promote physical activity in children from a young age to prevent this from happening. In addition, a brisk walk of at least 30-40 minutes must be practised by all adults as walking is essential to maintain good heart health.
Lastly, you should ensure that preventive health checkup is done in your family yearly so that any risk factors can be controlled promptly.
Read the full story that first appeared in Seema Magazine here: