The rising number of cardiovascular disorders has become a concern in Indian society. What is even more concerning are the increasing episodes seen in the younger age group. Unfortunately, almost 52 per cent of people get a heart attack before the age of 50. Known as premature heart attack, it affects men more than women. Research shows that it is partly due to our genetic disposition that Indians have narrower coronary arteries. Although genetics play a role in determining one's cardiovascular health, the lifestyle choices can actually make a great deal of difference. Simple changes today can go a long way to care for your heart right now and in the future.
Let us look at precautionary measures that men can take to avoid premature heart diseases.
Manage Your Stress
Mental and physical stress have increased in today's time. It’s possible your everyday life is so hectic that finding even 10 minutes of peace might sound impossible. Workplaces have become highly competitive and demanding. You have to prove your worth constantly to bag your next promotion. By the time men reach their forties, they have to deal with the added pressure of changes - from having to constantly adapt to the new technology as well as the changing dynamics at their workplace and in their personal life .
Studies show that mental stress is one of the primary reasons for heart diseases. There are a few things you can do for your mental well-being. The easiest is to switch off for a few minutes from the external world daily. You can call it your me-time, and it should be the slot you spend with your thoughts. If there are any worries, try to manage them through stress-management techniques. It is easier said than done, but meditation can help you find that path. You can also practise mindfulness meditation, as research has shown it can significantly improve mental well-being.
As social media usage also grows, it is impacting real-life relationships, increasing the feelings of loneliness. This can lead to depression which research shows puts you at a greater risk for coronary heart disease. If you feel yourself being impacted by the same, try to cut back on the time you spent online and spend more time with your loved ones away from the screen. As the awareness of mental health is on the rise in India, you also have more options to seek care. It is advisable to consult a certified medical professional and seek counselling for your mental health.
Get More Exercise
Physical activity is one of the most valuable gifts you can give to your heart. It makes your heart stronger, lowers blood pressure, and keeps your weight in check. It slows your resting heart rate, which means it has to work lesser to pump blood to other parts of your body.
Studies show that being overweight is also closely linked to heart health. Exercise will help you reach your optimal body weight. Finally, working out also releases feel-good hormones in your body, which can lower your stress.
Eat a Balanced Diet
Food holds an important place in our life. It is something that people enjoy and try to find comfort in when they feel low. The last few decades have seen an increase in the availability of processed and junk food which is low in quality. Previously the food eaten daily would have been locally sourced and cooked at home and provide balanced nutrition. Now, there are shelves lined with processed foods in the markets and dining out at fast food joints has become more common. Although these foods taste good, they are often loaded with salt and sugar which negatively impact your heart and your overall health.
Excessive amounts of salt is a leading cause of hypertension and excessive sugar can be a concern if you have a family history of diabetes. Research shows that high blood pressure and diabetes can increase the probability of stroke.
To follow a healthy diet, have a balanced meal that includes all food groups. Include fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, and low-fat dairy products. Another useful tip to keep your heart healthy is to use healthy edible oil. Using blended oils is one of the best ways to add a super dose of nutrition to your home-cooked meal. Blended oils are heart-healthy oils that are a combination of two oils and provide a more balanced intake of good fats. Saffola Gold is one such healthy blended oil with the goodness of rice bran oil and sunflower oil. Including it in your diet will enhance the nutrient quotient of your food.
Avoid Tobacco and Alcohol
According to studies, India has a high number of tobacco consumers and a majority of smokers were found to be men. Smoking tobacco can have a negative impact on your health in a variety of ways. Over the years, tobacco use is becoming less common but it is still one of the leading causes of potentially preventable health concerns. Research has shown that people who smoke have a higher likelihood of a heart attack, high blood pressure, blood clots, etc. Cigarette smoke has a dangerously high level of carbon monoxide. It prevents the heart from receiving the appropriate amount of oxygen for proper functioning.
Similarly, long-term abuse of alcohol can weaken the heart muscle and impair its ability to pump blood. In India, alcohol consumption is more common among men compared to women, varying from 23% to 74% in different areas. One needs to be wary of overconsumption of alcohol, as it can lead to serious liver and heart problems.
In the last couple of years, the prevalence of premature heart diseases has increased. Men are more susceptible because of risk factors in their lifestyles which often get ignored. By following the suggestions given above, you keep your heart healthier and reduce the chances of developing diseases.