Over the last year, we have all become acutely aware of how infectious diseases affect our lives. But non-communicable diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases (CVD), continue to claim several lives every year. In 2016, CVD claimed 17.9 million lives. By 2020, the number rose to 18.6 million. In India, CVD accounts for 45% of total deaths of people between the ages of 40 and 69! Given the steady increase in the incidence of heart diseases, we commemorate 29th September as World Heart Day.
What Causes Cardiovascular Disease?
The WHO estimates that 520 million people currently live with CVD. Various factors can contribute to the development of a CVD. Common issues like air pollution, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, inactivity and smoking can increase your chance of developing CVD. Since most of us live sedentary lifestyles, it has become increasingly vital to keep our hearts healthy.
Keeping Your Heart Healthy
Most people think they have to run marathons or exercise daily to stay healthy. While quality exercise three times a week will help, there are other ways to keep your heart going. Let’s take a look at some simple things you can all do to maintain your heart health:
Swap Trans Fats for Healthy Fats
Most people cut all kinds of fat from their diets. But, we need some saturated, unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Healthy fats enable our bodies to function normally. But, trans fats increase our LDL levels and lower our HDL levels. So, they cause high cholesterol, which can cause CVD. You can omit trans fats from your diet by checking all your food labels. Anything that has partially hydrogenated oils has trans fats.
Up Your Dental Game
Your gum health is directly related to your heart health. According to some studies, the bacteria that causes gum disease can move from your mouth to the bloodstream. Should this happen, it could elevate your C-reactive protein, which is a marker for blood vessel inflammation. All of this can increase your risk of suffering from a stroke or heart disease. So, you must floss and brush your teeth daily to maintain healthy gums and a healthy heart.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Many people who exercise daily and eat healthy may neglect their sleep. Unfortunately, this could increase their risk of suffering from a heart attack or stroke. Researchers studied two groups of people above the age of 45. One group slept for less than six hours every night, while the other slept six to eight hours. At the end of the study, they found that people in the first group were twice as likely to have a heart attack. Your body requires sleep to maintain its biological processes. So, make sleep a priority every day. Ensure you get at least 7 hours of quality sleep every night.
Stand Up for a While
Most of us have jobs that require us to sit at a desk and work on a computer. A study conducted on 800,000 people found that sitting for long hours can increase cardiovascular events by 147%! The statistics sound scary, but you can do something about it. Take a break every 20 minutes to stand. Whenever possible, walk around before you sit down again. You can also try and park farther away from your office or take the stairs every day.
Buy Insurance for Peace of Mind
Most often, we attribute heart disease and heart attacks to prolonged stress. If you’re constantly worried about your finances and your family, you should get health insurance. The best health insurance policies in India provide sufficient cover to help you deal with the cost of a medical emergency. The best health insurance plan also offers cover for at-home and alternative treatments, so you can get the care you need wherever you need it. Most health insurance companies provide options. So, you can easily find a plan that suits your needs and your wallet.
Taking care of your health doesn’t have to be a task. With these tips and a plan from the best health insurance company in India, you’re well on your way to keeping your heart healthy!