With the increasing number of heart diseases in the Indian population, it is high time that we pay attention to our lifestyle, daily habits, and related risk factors, some of which we may be unaware of. Age, gender, family history and genetics are something that we can do nothing about but some of our daily habits might be killing us everyday. OnlyMyHealth editorial team spoke to Dr. Abhishek Joshi, Cardiac surgeon, Arihant Hospital, Belgaum, & Dr. Amruta Joshi, Consultant Pathologist, Metropolis Healthcare, to know about the daily habits which are risk factors for heart disease.
Daily habits which are risk factors for heart disease
According to Dr. Joshi, here are five risk factors for heart disease:
1. Poor food intake
How we take care of our heart is very much evident from our food intake. Although pickles, papads and sauces add taste to our food, they also add up to the burden of sodium on the body. Eating processed foods, restaurant foods, and frozen meals can increase the risk of heart disease. In short, regularly eating any food item that comes with a label, a price tag and ingredients is not good for your heart.
2. Sedentary lifestyle habits
Having a full-time desk job or a sedentary lifestyle also plays a role. Sitting all day at one place and not getting up often, inadequate sun exposure are some bad habits we are inculcating into us because of our work schedule. Not exercising regularly deconditions your heart and lungs to exertional activity and it is similar to inviting early onset heart disease.
Smoking daily and inhaling second-hand smoke can kill a person faster than everything in this article put together. Alcohol occasionally is good but daily intake of more than two drinks for men and one drink for women puts them at an increased cardiac risk. Ingestion of recreational drugs like cannabis, cocaine is equally harmful.
Stress and a stressful lifestyle also are damaging in their own way. Not giving adequate time for friends and family or self, having insufficient sleep and rest increases the risk for heart disease. Our body does give signs before anything serious happens and ignoring burnout and poor mental health can lead to a late diagnosis of a serious heart disease.
5. Poor daily hygiene
Very small everyday activities of daily hygiene, such as not brushing teeth or not flossing teeth regularly are also mentioned in literature as bad habits for cardiac health. An individual may not focus on these minor habits, but they play a major role in influencing heart health.
It is better to know about your health than to be ignorant of some underlying heart disease. Thinking that you are too young to have any problem and not going for regular checkups are also a part of our daily lifestyle choices which predispose us to heart disease.