Simple things you can do at home to keep your heart healthy

Learn the warning signs of a heart attack. Early intervention can be life-saving in cardiac emergencies

The different phases of lockdown and unlock have negatively affected our regular routine. While the younger generation is keeping busy working from home and squeezing in some exercises between quick breaks, the elderly population is feeling the pressure of having to stay at home and not go out for their daily activities. As such, it becomes important to come up with a new plan, especially since the pandemic is here to go on for long, and we need to get accustomed to this new way of life.

Keeping your heart healthy is imperative because the heart is an important organ whose functioning depends on proper nutrition and physical fitness. If you are confused, Dr Manish Hinduja, Consultant Cardio-Thoracic Surgery, Fortis Hospital, Mulund is here to suggest some ways in which you can keep your heart healthy and strong while you stay at home. Read on.

* Lockdown diet: Regardless of age, a healthy diet is a must for a healthy heart. Increasing consumption of greens, fruits and limiting the intake of junk food and red meat, can be good for the heart. Adequate water intake is equally crucial.

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* Stick to a routine: Waking up and going to sleep at regular hours, taking adequate breaks during the day and making weekends relaxing, will bring a sense of normalcy to your life.

* Socialise digitally: Isolation is known to cause depression, which also affects your heart. Video-calling your close ones, having a virtual get-together, joining virtual learning sessions, meditation and yoga can help with your stress.

* Stop smoking, avoid drinking: Smoking increases the oxidative stress leading to blockages in arteries. Excessive alcoholism decreases your immunity and makes you prone to infections.

For 30-49-year-olds

* Watch your weight: Try to maintain a weekly weight and waist circumference record; keep your BMI between 18.5 and 24.9.

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* Let your heart pump more: Any exercise is better than no exercise. If you live with family, distribute the chores and try to make it a fun activity. Participate in moderate exercises (like brisk-walking, aerobics or dancing) for at least 30 minutes a day.

* Take regular breaks: Timely breaks, inculcating simple hobbies like gardening, reading or learning a new language can help you unwind.

For 50-69-year-olds

* Stay active: Avoid sitting for prolonged periods. Simple home exercises and stretching keeps your heart active.

* Seek medical attention when needed: Do not ignore chest pain, breathlessness, swelling of legs or dizziness. These could indicate the onset of cardiac illness.

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For 70-year-olds and above

* Continue prescribed medications: Those diagnosed with heart conditions, diabetes, high BP, high cholesterol, should continue their medications. Arrange for regular online consultations and consider measuring blood pressure, sugar levels at home.

* Be heart smart: Learn the warning signs of a heart attack. Early intervention can be life-saving in cardiac emergencies.

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