September 29 is observed as World Heart Day to spread awareness about cardiovascular diseases (CVD), including heart disease and stroke. In the time of COVID-19, people are faced with a double-edged threat. Not only are they more at risk of developing severe forms of the virus, but they may also be afraid to seek ongoing care for their hearts. The population of cardiovascular patients is rising rapidly, and the disease is afflicting younger people at their peak.
In India, half of all reported heart attacks are caused due to cardiovascular diseases in people under the age of 50, and 25% of those occur in people below 40. Over the last few months, there has been a revival of interest in alternate methods of fitness and well-being accompanied by correction of diet and lifestyle.
A healthy heart is imperative for healthy living. Thus it is important to understand what it takes to live a heart healthy life and to act on that knowledge, changing your behaviour for better quality of life now and in the future.
In line with the campaign of World Heart Federation, #Useheart to beat cardiovascular diseases, Anjali Malhotra, Chief Customer, Marketing, Digital and IT Officer, Aviva Life Insurance suggests some easy ways to live a heart healthy life.
Since the outbreak of Covid-19, lives are becoming increasingly sedentary with people spending most of their time sitting in front of laptops, televisions or mobile screens with no physical activity or workout. Adapting healthy habits like walking around at home while working or taking online fitness classes will help in relaxing mind and body. Incorporating physical exercises such as walking, running, cycling and aerobics as part of the daily routine is beneficial for heart health.
Adopt healthy eating habits
Common heart diseases are caused due to high cholesterol, obesity and diabetes. Therefore, it is important to consume a balanced diet. Including healthy food and an adequate amount of nutrients in the diet can protect heart diseases. Therefore, ensure enough intake of green and leafy vegetables, fibre-rich whole grains, fatty-fish, nuts, and exclude sugar and aerated drinks from the diet, and replace sweetened beverages with water.
Listen to your heart and go for regular screenings
Regular screening is essential for monitoring overall health. This becomes even more imperative with increasing age and one should not let COVID-19 stop from attending your regular check-ups. One way of healthy heart is to check if your heart is as young as you, with the help of Aviva Heart Age Calculator which tells the actual age of your heart in few simple steps.
Get Enough Sleep
Adequate sleep is key to maintaining a healthy heart. Lack of sleep increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases, despite maintaining other health habits. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, (NHLBI), one must get at least 7 – 8 hours of sleep every day as it has the ability to optimize both mental and physical energy levels.
Be financially prepared to protect your heart
In today’s fast paced world, one should always be prepared for uncertainties. To attain a healthy heart and secured future, financial Planning is of utmost importance. Liquidity is another problem people are facing now so, one should invest in comprehensive insurance plans to protect oneself from medical exigencies. It is suggested to be futuristic in picking investment options and opt for insurance plans that offer coverage against cardiovascular conditions and allows lump-sum pay-out irrespective of the cost of treatment.
Focus on health and wellness
Apart from focusing on exercising and healthy eating habits, it is imperative to focus on overall wellness for healthy heart. In today’s times, happiness plays a key role in determining wellness and to ensure mental peace. Picking up a passion or hobby have a therapeutic effect on the mind and soul. Attaining a good work life balance helps one stay positive and focus on the larger aspects of life like leading a quality life, attainment of personal goals, and self-actualisation. This helps in better stress management and lead a healthy living.