Are You taking care of your heart?

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Are You taking care of your heart?

Are You taking care of your heart?

Are You taking care of your heart?

When we talk of heart health the two most common things which come to our mind are exercise and diet.

These are important but we need to target a few numbers, which will help us in cutting down the risk for serious heart disease.

Three risk factors that are in our control can be changed –

  1. High blood pressure – blood pressure more than 140/90 is considered hypertension. BP less than 120/80 is a normal BP and 120 to 140 systolic and 80 to 90 diastolic is prehypertension.
  2. Lipid profile- Bad cholesterol like LDL and triglyceride needs to be controlled.

Target –

Total cholesterol < 200>

LDL < 100>

HDL >60 mg/dL

Triglycerides < 150>

Any of these if abnormally high need to be controlled either with diet and exercise or might even need medicine.

Diabetes – High sugar is a risk factor and needs to be controlled.

Fasting blood sugar should be less than 100 mg /dL

Fasting blood sugar more than 126 mg/dL is considered diabetes.

Smoking

Stop smoking. Smoking not only can cause hypertension and increase the risk of blood clotting leading to stroke and heart attack. Passive smoking also increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Keep an eye on body weight

It is good to be within a range of your ideal weight according to your height. But need to remember that high body weight can be due to muscle mass as in athletes. The better marker for increased fat in your body is waist circumference, in males, a waist circumference of more than 40 inches will increase the risk of heart attack, the same way a waist circumference of more than 35 inches in female increases the risk.

But do not just focus on weight loss as a singular goal. Try to become healthy overall. Change to a healthy diet, become more active, cut down sugar, eat more vegetables.

Keep active

Do not become a couch potato. Move more. Do not sit for a long time.

Relax 

Do relax exercise and yoga. Good sleep and exercise is a must for a relaxed life. Develop a hobby and socialize.

Dr. Rakesh Rai. MS, FRCS, MD, CCT, ASTS Fellow.

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