Diet, exercise key to a healthy heart

Dr D Rajasekhar
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Dr D Rajasekhar

Highlights

Nowadays, heart disease and stroke are the world’s leading cause of death claiming 18.6 million lives every year.

Tirupati: Nowadays, heart disease and stroke are the world's leading cause of death claiming 18.6 million lives every year.

This underlines the need of preventive steps by every individual so that the risk of cardiovascular disease can be prevented.

The theme 'Use heart to connect' of this year's World Heart Day being observed on September 29 every year highlights the need to find innovative ways to connect people to heart health. On this occasion, reputed cardiologist and head of Cardiology department in SVIMS Dr D Rajasekhar, in a special interview to The Hans India, elaborated steps to have a healthy heart.

He underlined that the process of keeping the heart fit and healthy starts in childhood itself with a healthy diet. Healthy diet means less oily, less junk, less fried items and less fast food. Consumption of fresh and boiled vegetables should be encouraged and frequent snacks to be avoided.

Tea and coffee should be restricted to 2-3 cups a day. Smoking should be avoided, alcohol is best avoided or moderated.

While daily physical exercise is needed, isotonic exercises like walking, jogging and swimming are best and isometric exercises like boxing, weight lifting are not heart friendly. A 45-minute brisk walk daily is ideal.

Dr Rajasekhar explained that diabetes is an important risk factor for heart disease. There is a need to check sugar levels at least once in a year to facilitate early detection of diabetes in those with family history. Once diabetes is diagnosed, one needs to take treatment is required to keep HbA1C under limits.

Also, high blood pressure is an important risk factor for heart disease and is a silent killer. World over, hypertension is the most important clinical condition requiring medical attention, Hence, from 40 years of age, BP needs to be checked frequently.

As obesity is becoming increasingly prevalent and is an important risk factor for heart disease, the body weight should be maintained within limits corresponding to height.

LDL (bad) cholesterol should be as low as possible preferably below 130 mg though some say less than 100 mg which can be achieved with diet and exercise.

Dr Rajasekhar made it clear that people above 40 years and having risk factors for heart attack having a family history of the disease too should get preventive check-ups at least once a year.

Heart could be affected in many ways in Covid, but fortunately frequency is very low. Post-Covid syndrome could affect the heart more often those who have pre-existing heart disease for which Periodic consultation of physician will help, he maintained.

WORLD HEART DAY

Diabetes and hypertension are important risk factors for heart disease, says noted cardiologist in SVIMS Dr Rajasekhar

♥ People above 40 years of age with risk factors should get preventive check-ups once in a year

♥ Advises isotonic exercises like walking, jogging and swimming instead of isometric exercises suchas boxing, weight lifting

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