Today, the health of self and family is a priority for young India and every individual is willing to do whatever it takes to prioritize their family’s health and well-being. However, a major finding of concern is that India has witnessed an alarming rise in the occurrence of heart disease and stroke in the past 25 years. Hence, it is extremely important to increase awareness about a heart-healthy lifestyle for everyone, and not just for people with an existing health problem to reduce the risk of heart disease and improve the quality of wellbeing
According to the World Heart Federation, heart disease is known to be a silent killer which takes the lives of 17.5 million people each year accounting for 31% of global deaths. ManipalCigna’s 360 Well-Being Survey 2019 also reveals that 77% respondents agree that a lifestyle change is necessary for healthy heart, yet 1 in 6 of those who have experienced symptoms have chosen to ignore it. Of those who do take action, many opt to self-manage through exercise, attempts at reducing stress and changing their diets, and only 24% use wearables to track and manage heart health, highlighting the need for better understanding before we can fully claim to be heart smart.
In general people have the tendency to only skim the surface when it comes to understanding, detecting and addressing heart health. Moreover with today’s sedentary lifestyle and stress, it only makes people more vulnerable to heart ailments. It’s also disturbing to note that Millennials experience significantly more heart symptoms than older age group, due to ever-increasing exposure to stress, unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, and obesity. But, it doesn’t need to be this way. By making just a few small changes in one’s life, people can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, as well as improve their quality of life and set a good example for the generations to come.
Maintaining a healthy heart from a young age helps as one advances in age. If a person is regularly involved in cardio exercises and keeps a check on cholesterol intake, it is most likely that he/she is on the right track to a healthy heart. People should be made aware that when considering heart health, the body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure are good indicators. BMI is a measure of the amount of body fat and is used as a screening tool to discover whether an adult is at a healthy weight. Excess weight amplifies the heart's work which elevates a person’s blood pressure and in turn, can harm the arteries.
Though there is moderate understanding of BMI and blood pressure amongst people, yet a disparity exists between knowledge and active heart health management. Whether due to lack of opportunity or willpower, there is a gap between the two that needs to be bridged. The implementation of regular monitoring and measuring, inclusion of cardiovascular disease as part of medical coverage and laying the groundwork for lifestyle changes aimed at improving heart numbers are just some ways wellness programmes can target this deﬁciency.
Despite the current heart health status, one can always start making improvements by implementing lifestyle changes that will protect one’s heart going forward. Steps like calling a
friend and planning that daily walk time or a yoga session, writing a healthy list for the next grocery visit, and scheduling an appointment with the doctor for a physical exam to make sure the cholesterol and blood pressure levels are where they need to be. Simple steps like these can bring a big change in one’s heart and overall health.
So, take a pledge to take care of your and family's heart by taking a few steps to stay heart-healthy! After all, Health Hai Toh Life Life.
(The article has been written by Sapna Desai, ManipalCigna Health Insurance, and do not represent the views of Zee Media Corporation Limited.)