5 Smarter ways for healthy living and healthy heart
New Delhi , September 21 : Do you know that India has been declared the Cardio Vascular Diseases (CVD) capital of the world? It is one of the biggest reasons for deaths across the globe.
World Heart Federation states that approximately 17.5 million people die due to cardiovascular diseases in a year. Amongst these, an estimated 6.7 million lost their lives due to a stroke, whereas 7.4 million died as a result of coronary heart disease.

Every year, September 29 is celebrated as World Heart Day worldwide, in order to spread awareness about multiple heart problems and how to take care of the heart.

In times when lifestyle induced diseases are on the rise, it becomes important to understand the risk factors and work in the direction to eradicate them especially, if one has a family history of heart diseases.

Here are five simple and smart ways listed by Anjali Malhotra, Chief Customer Marketing and Digital Officer Aviva Life insurance to prevent heart problems in today's busy life:

# Exercising regularly

In order to keep your heart healthy, it is important to indulge in exercise each day. A daily exercise schedule in any form of physical activity for a period of 30-45 minutes is crucial to ensure that the arteries remain flexible. Small changes in your physical activity can help in bringing positive change in your routine. Studies have shown that brisk walking may add about approx. two hours to the life expectancy of some adults. Few changes in one's lifestyle such as taking the stairs instead the elevator, parking at the furthest end of a parking lot and taking a break from the office for a short walk during your lunch hour not only help in keeping one's body in shape but also inculcate a habit of healthy living.

In addition, few yoga asanas such as Virbhadrasana, Tadasana, Utkatasana, Bhujangasana, Vrikshasana also helps in preventing heart problems. It is said, if you practice these five yoga postures daily, then you can reduce substantial risk of heart problems.

# Healthy Diet

It is a well-established fact that eating right and healthy is the key to a healthy heart and to living a healthy life. However, majority of us tend to ignore it. What one eats directly affects one's heart. Therefore ensure the intake of green and leafy vegetables, exclude sugar and aerated drinks from your day, replace sweetened beverages with water as much as possible and bring down the intake of processed foods and refined flour for Healthy Living and a Healthy Heart. Too much sodium can also cause excess fluid in the body that puts an extra strain on your heart. Therefore it is best to adapt to variety of spices, herbs and flavourings that provide an alternative to salt. Also excluding red meats from the diet in order to avoid bad cholesterol and keeping an intake of oil and sugar to minimal further helps in reducing the risk of heart problems.

# Body Weight

Excess body weight is dangerous for the heart. Keep an eye on weight as it elevates chances of getting high cholesterol levels, which may lead to diabetes, risk of artery disease, and blood pressure. Also keep a check on BMI (Body Mass Index) and maintain it to optimal levels.

# Keep a check on Smoking and Alcohol

Smoking and alcohol will have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. These habits are known to elevate blood pressure, causing irregular heartbeat and stokes. Not only that, it leads to overall disruption in the normal functioning of the heart, Therefore, it is advisable to avoid consumption of both or consume it in moderation and gradually phase it out. It may be difficult to follow but worth the effort.

# Check Stress Levels

There have been various studies which have established that stress is one of the biggest triggers of heart problems. It can cause aches and pains, trigger feelings of anxiety and depression, and lower your energy. Try and keep stress at bay. Look for activities other than work which helps keep stress levels in check. Indulge in a hobby or a positive self - talk, listen to music or reading a good book or meditate. These techniques have helped in reducing stress and in developing a positive outlook towards work and life.

This World Heart Day, take the pledge to keep your heart healthy and create a heart healthy environment around you. Help yourself with a Aviva Heart Care policy, as a companion to secure your heart.

(Posted on 21 September 2017, 1675849638 3O238O181O138)