You can’t defeat a healthy heart!

Heart health is more important than ever during this global pandemic, especially the reason your heart being one of the vital organs keeping you alive and active.

World Heart Day is celebrated worldwide on the 29th of September, every year. It created by the World Heart Federation, is the perfect platform for the CVD community to unite in the fight against CVD & to reduce the global disease burden. It aims to drive action to educate people and spread awareness about taking care of your heart by controlling risk factors (such as tobacco, alcohol consumption), unhealthy diet and physical inactivity which can prevent at least 80% of premature deaths from heart disease and stroke

Heart disease, also called as Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) is a spectrum of conditions which involves defect in structure and/or function of your heart. Naming below some common CVD:

Impact of CVD on life:

There are people who live with CVD and not know about it. But our body is sensitive and smart, it keeps on alerting us. But we should be smart enough not to ignore them. Check out the following warning signs:

  • difficulty in breathing or sudden onset breathlessness and fatigue
  • Discomfort in the center of the chest for more than a few minutes or that goes away or comes back.
  • Type: ‘squeezing, uncomfortable pressure, fullness’
  • Discomfort in other areas like one / both arms, back, neck, jaw or and stomach.
  • confusion or disorientation or light headedness
  • Bluish lips or face
  • Palpitations and profuse sweating
  • Puffy legs and feet.

Here are few easy ways to ensure your heart stays healthy and you stay strong:

  • Healthy diet [having green leafy veggies, whole grains, protein rich food, avoiding processed food and alcohol consumption.]
  • Stress management [talk to your loved ones, visit a counselor, indulge in your favorite activities etc.]
  • Physical activity
  • Adequate sleep
  • Regular screening i.e.
  • Check your blood pressure- High blood pressure is the no. one risk factor for CVD. It is called the ‘silent killer’, because it has no warning signs/symptoms and people usually don’t realize they have it.
  • Check your blood glucose levels- CVD accounts for 60% of total deaths in people with Diabetes.
  • Check your numbers- Get your cholesterol levels, weight, BMI, BP, blood glucose levels, etc. checked by a health care professional.

Physiotherapy and Cardiovascular Rehabilitation for Heart health:

Physiotherapy (PT) for Heart health not only helps in managing the ones who have developed CVD (including people undergone heart surgeries) but also the ones at the risk of having heart disease. Physiotherapist along with the cardiovascular specialist team works with your body to improve the heart’s function.

Enlisting the role played by physiotherapist to improve your heart performance:

In this Covid-19 pandemic, does this occasion of ‘World Heart Day’ bring into light any different perspective?

By the beginning of 2020, a new coronavirus emerged as a threat to the human population. Since then, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome- Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV 2) at the root of the coronavirus disease or Covid-19 has been claiming lives in diverse ways. The heart has been found to be one of the most affected organs.

Autopsies of patients with Covid-19 infection revealed infiltration of the myocardium (heart muscle) by interstitial inflammatory cells. Covid-19 infections are associated with increased cardiac biomarker levels due to myocardial injury.

It’s not about being afraid but about being aware of the risk factors and symptoms which will guide us to seek medical attention at the appropriate time without delay  and also to prevent potential problems related to heart health.

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

Wishing you all HAPPY WORLD HEART DAY!!

Authored by-
Dr Chaitali Deshpande
Consultant Cardiopulmonary Physiotherapist

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