World Heart Day 2021: Tips To Take Care Of Your Heart During The Pandemic
The heart is a vital and delicate organ in the human body. It effectively balances the amounts of oxygen and carbon dioxide inside the body by pumping oxygen-rich blood to other body organs.
World Heart Day is observed on 29 September every year
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in men and women, claiming roughly one million lives each year. Plaque, which is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other elements in the blood, builds up inside the coronary arteries, which provide oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscles, causing heart disease. Plaque obstructs blood flow to the heart's chambers, resulting in heart attack, sudden cardiac death, or stroke. According to the report, both men and women over the age of 30 should have their heart examinations done every two years, and those over the age of 40 should have their heart tests done every year.
Some of our habits are harmful to our health, whether we are aware of it or not, yet we do not take them seriously. It is not uncommon for these habits to become ingrained in one's daily routine. As a result, we are unaware of how detrimental disregarding these habits might be to our health. It's also likely that some of these practices will put you at risk for heart disease or lead to even more severe outcomes. Please take note of such tendencies and try to change them as soon as possible.
COVID-19 has put dread in the minds of the public. Today's patients are apprehensive about seeing doctors and traveling to hospitals for medicine and therapy. Patients should not overlook chest pain or dyspnea if they experience it during these uncertain moments. It is necessary to contact a medical specialist and address the difficulties. If the patient lacks the financial means to visit the doctor, online consultation is required. This is especially true for persons who are experiencing cardiac symptoms.
Heart care and work from home (WFM):
Our working methods are evolving. Workplaces are becoming more flexible, changing regulations to accommodate employees who work flexible hours, those who are also caregivers, and remote workers. Unexpected circumstances like outbreaks can also cause alterations in how we work. Working from home has a unique set of obstacles.
Below are few things which we need to be cautions at WFM era and work on for healthy heart
- The Work from Home reduced the few steps that people (unknowingly) used to walk either to catch the bus or train or from parking to work desk or walk to canteen or to meet the managers or even going to gym. Now we are confined to hall, bedroom, kitchen, and toilet. Few hundred steps reduced to few tens now.
- Physical activity and exercise that is very key to minimize the risk of heart attack is reduced drastically at WFH and during lockdowns. Increase physical activities for better heart health.
- Extended working compromised morning walk or evening cycling. More office work, less physical activities. Result there is increase in stress level too, which is another key risk element. Stress leads to heart attack. Having too much stress, for too long, is bad for your heart. If you cannot manage the stress, take help from experts.
- A good night's sleep of 7 or 8 hours is now deferred to weekends. Weekend, now for extended sleeping hours than activities like trekking, cycling and a walk to meet friends which used to be earlier. At these tough times we need to use weekends for yoga, exercise or to relieve stress.
- Now-a-days many people take a cup of beverage and cigarette on their hands when they take off their hands from laptop or mobile. They treat cigarette as stress buster, but it harms the heart. Avoid smoking.
- If you have very stressful job, you must tailor your job so that you can handle stress better way. Don't indulge in smoking or alcohol or overeating to avoid stress. Because it will topple your balance and end up in heart problems.
- If you are a diabetic, check you sugar levels frequently, have good, controlled sugar levels with three months average hba1c less than 7 or 7.5.
- If you have hypertension check your BP regularly and have good diet which decreases your BP and have less salt intake which is good for your heart also. Always maintain ideal weight.
- If you are not diabetic, not hypertensive and if you reached your 40 years you should have regular checkups and monitor BP, sugar levels and cholesterol levels to maintain a healthy heart.
If we miss to take care of the heart, then by 4-5 years down the line we may to declare heart health issues as another pandemic. Have a healthy heart, live longer.
(Dr Jyotirmaya Dash, Sr. Consultant - Interventional Cardiologist, Fortis Hospital, Vadapalani)
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