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Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) have become the leading cause of death in India.  According to the Global Burden of Disease, the estimate of age-standardized CVD death rate of 272 per 100000 populations in India is higher than the global average of 235 per 100 000 populations.

If you are suffering from a heart disease, there is no need to lose heart, pun intended. With the correct lifestyle and habits, you can continue living a healthy life. Your doctor will suggest you a treatment plan and medicines, but apart from that, there are healthy habits you can incorporate on your own to increase longevity and improve the quality of your life.

Below are key habits you can form that will keep your heart healthy:

  1. Eat fiber and healthy fats: Fiber controls blood sugar and lowers cholesterol. Eat lots of fiber rich fruits and vegetables in every meal. Foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids are beneficial for people with heart disease. Fiber can be found in whole grains, fruits and green leafy vegetables. For Omega 3 fatty acids, eat walnuts, almonds, flaxseeds, chia seeds and fatty fish. Be careful, however, to not go overboard with nuts since they are dense in calories.
  2. Quit alcohol and smoking: Alcohol has a lot of empty calories, which can contribute to obesity. It can also interfere with your medication and cause side effects. Your heart is already overburdened after a disease, having alcohol and smoking can make it work harder and weaken it further.
  3. Get active: Exercising is important for heart health. Rigorous exercises like running, hiking or push-ups are not advised, but you can include low impact exercises to stay active. Exercising will help you lose weight if you are obese and help you maintain it. Going for walks and doing yoga will help you manage the stress that comes along with heart problems. Aim for minimum 30 minutes of exercise time per day to stay healthy.
  4. Get adequate rest: Getting adequate sleep is as important as getting some exercise. Sleeping well will help you not to overexert your heart. If you experience shortness of breath, keep your head raised with an extra pillow. Try to maintain a schedule where you sleep and wake up at the same time every day.

These small changes go a long way in ensuring that you can continue living well and enjoying a healthy life. Heart disease, even though hard on a person, is manageable with a positive approach, doctor’s guidance and correct lifestyle.

 

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