Why should you focus on making lifestyle changes for a healthy heart?

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A healthy heart is a gateway to a healthy Life!

In today’s stress-filled lifestyle, it is important for each one of us to be mindful of our Hearts & the ways to take care of it. Research has proved time & again that looking after your heart’s health is essential to maintain overall health.

As per World Health Organization (WHO), India accounts for one-fifth of deaths worldwide caused due to various Cardiovascular diseases, especially in the younger population.

Recent research has also shown that Indians are more prone to heart diseases, when compared to the western population.

Considering all these facts, you must make changes to your current lifestyle to keep your heart healthy and happy. This includes following a balanced diet, doing regular exercise, avoiding alcohol & smoking, undergoing regular health checkups & much more.

1. A nutritious healthy diet
It is a well-known fact that the average Indian diets consists more amounts of carbohydrates, high fat dairy, butter, ghee as compared to proteins & fibers. This leads to higher accumulation of cholesterol in the arterial walls of the body, leading to a condition called Atherosclerosis. Maximum number of Heart diseases are caused due to this.

What you can do?
Make sure that you consume more fresh fruits, vegetable, pulses rich in protein, salad for adequate fibers.

2. Incorporating Physical activity in daily routine
According to WHO’s Global Action Plan on Physical Activity 2018-2030, regular physical activity is proven to help prevent several health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and breast and colon cancer. It also helps prevent hypertension, obesity and can improve mental health, along with overall well-being.

What you can do?
As recommended by WHO & Fit India Movement, dedicate 30–60 minutes per day to physical activity & exercises.

3. Understand the importance of Regular Health checkups
During times of health crises such as the current pandemic, it is well known that prevention is better than cure.

By getting regular checkups, you can identify any potential health problems early on. In general, the elder you are, the more important it is to stay diligent regarding check-ups. Check-ups could be done quarterly, half-yearly or yearly.

What you can do?
Regular health checkups must be done atleast once a year in order to keep an eye on any developing metabolic health conditions.

4. Monitoring your Blood Pressure levels
Controlling high blood pressure (hypertension) requires regular blood pressure checks at home or at a physician's clinic. Various National & International Heart associations recommend that anyone with a high blood pressure must monitor their blood pressure regularly. Continuous monitoring can help you keep tabs on your blood pressure, make certain your medication is working, and alert you and your doctor to potential health complications.

What you can do?
Blood pressure monitors are available widely and without a prescription, so home monitoring is an easy step toward BP monitoring. It's important to know the right technique and to find a good BP monitor.

5. Avoiding Alcohol & Smoking
Research has shown that alcohol consumption and tobacco use have been associated with a wide variety of heart diseases. Alcohol intake of 3 or more drinks/day and cigarette smoking have similar adverse effects on some forms of cardiovascular disease.

What you can do?
The path towards de-addiction is difficult, but it has long-term positive effects on the health of your heart. Reducing or quitting drinking can reduce elevated blood pressure and levels of triglycerides in the blood along with lower risks of stroke and congestive heart failure.

In conclusion, for us Indians the specific causes of concern (in terms of Heart Diseases) are early age of onset, fast progression and a high mortality rate. Indians are known to have the highest coronary artery disease (CAD) rates.

Hence, it is high time that we start taking significant steps towards improving our heart health & become more responsible in terms making lifestyle changes


  • Sreeniwas Kumar A, Sinha N. Cardiovascular disease in India: A 360 degree overview. Med J Armed Forces India. 2020;76(1):1-3. doi:10.1016/j.mjafi.2019.12.005
  • Tikka, S. K., Garg, S., & Siddiqui, M. A. (2021). Prescribing Physical Activity in Mental Health: A Focused Review on the Latest Evidence, Recommendations, Challenges, and Relevance to India. Indian journal of psychological medicine, 43(6), 535-541.
  • WHO’s Global Action Plan on Physical Activity 2018-2030
  • Mukamal KJ. The effects of smoking and drinking on cardiovascular disease and risk factors. Alcohol Res Health. 2006;29(3):199-202.