New Delhi: It is World Heart Month and the theme for the upcoming World Heart Day is creating heart-healthy environments. Given that we live in a country, which is soon to become the heart disease Capital of the world, each one of us must work towards making their homes heart friendly. Making even just a few changes can help reduce your own and your family’s risk of heart disease and stroke.
Heart disease is reversible if lifestyle modifications are made in a timely manner. Nine potentially modifiable risk factors of heart attacks include smoking, dyslipidemia, hypertension, diabetes, abdominal obesity, psychosocial factors, regular alcohol consumption, lack of adequate fruits and vegetables in the diet and a sedentary lifestyle. Over 90%, Indians suffer their first heart attack due to one or several of these lifestyle irregularities. Modifying one’s bad habits can go a long way in helping prevent the onset of heart diseases.
Speaking on this topic, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr. KK Aggarwal, President HCFI & Honorary Secretary General IMA said, “Inculcating heart healthy practices within one’s home can go a long way in reducing the incidence of cardiovascular disease in India. Children should be taught about the ill effects of smoking, the benefits of consuming a healthy diet and regularly exercising from the very onset. Parents play an extremely important role in influencing the choices their children make in their future. If they regularly smoke at their homes, live high-stress and inactive lives; their children are more likely to do the same.”
A few ways in which each one of us can make their homes heart friendly are:
· Stock your home with healthy food options
· Limit the consumption of junk or pre-packed food that are often high in sugar, fat, and salt
· Incorporate fresh fruit and vegetables in your meals and reduce sweet cravings by swapping sweet treats with mango or other sweet fruits
· Prepare healthy yet creative lunch at home and for your child’s school tiffin
· Ban smoking in your home, this will not only improve your health but also your children’s health and discourage them from picking up the habit in the first place. Quitting smoking is a great way to be a positive role model for your children
· Be active, limit the number of hours spent watching TV or playing games on various electronic gadgets
· Organize outdoor activities such as cycling, hiking or simply playing in the garden
· Recognize your heart disease risk
· Visit a health professional who can measure your blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels, weight and body mass index, and advise on your risk.
· Once you know your heart disease risk, you can make a specific plan to improve your heart health and your healthcare professional can also advise on appropriate treatment options where necessary
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2014 The Global Indian New Network (TGINN)