Today’s fast-paced life and workplace pressures escalate stress levels, taking a toll on one’s heart. We must realise that the healing power of the body decreases when under stress, leading to many complications like hypertension and poor immunity. Today, even youngsters are prone to heart ailments. So, it’s very important to stay healthy and manage your stress levels by understanding the risk factors — high cholesterol levels, stressful lifestyle, smoking, and lack of exercise — following simple changes in lifestyle.Smoking reduces life expectancy by 15-25 years. If you are a smoker, you are twice more likely to have a heart attack than a non-smoker. The moment you stop smoking, the risk of heart attack begins to reduce.Too much salt can cause high blood pressure, which increases the risk of developing coronary heart disease.WATCH YOUR DIET
Try to have a balanced diet. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables, starch foods such as wholegrain bread and rice.MONITOR YOUR ALCOHOL
Too much alcohol can damage the heart muscle, increase blood pressure and also lead to weight gain. Avoid intake of alcohol or at least limit it to one to two units a day, gradually decreasing the consumption.GET ACTIVE
At least aim for 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day. Keeping yourself fit not only benefits the heart but also improves mental health and well-being.MONITOR YOUR BP, BLOOD SUGAR AND CHOLESTEROL LEVELS
Routine medical check-ups will ring an alarm, if you need medical help.MANAGE YOUR WAIST
Cholesterol deposition in blood vessels begins in the first decade of life. Carrying a lot of extra weight as fat can greatly affect your health. Make small but healthy changes in your diet.MANAGE YOUR STRESS LEVEL
If you find things are getting on top of you, you may fail to eat properly, smoke and drink too much. This may increase your risk of a heart attack. Practice yoga/meditation. Take a vacation.CHECK YOUR FAMILY HISTORY
If a close relative is at risk of developing coronary heart disease from smoking, high BP, high cholesterol, lack of physical activity, obesity and diabetes, then you could be at risk too.LAUGHTER IS THE BEST THERAPY
Laughter anytime will work wonders for you. It is an instant way to unleash the pressure and it makes you feel light.Now finally, you have a legit reason to stay in bed a tad bit longer. And no, you won’t be branded lazy for it! Experts say that stretching your body gently post waking up, helps deal with the sluggish early-morning feeling, and also give relief to your aching and tight muscles. Do the following stretching exercises, before you kick-start your day.Sit in Padmasan or with your legs crossed in the lotus position. As you stretch out your hands in front of you, slowly link and interlace fingers. Your palm should be facing outwards. Stretch your arms out as far and then slowly extend your arms up above your head. Keep your fingers interlaced all the time as you stretch. Then, slowly (from your waist) bend towards your right as far as you can, come back straight up and then bend towards your left.

This stretches your upper body, shoulders, arms and obliques.Lie down on your back. Now, raise your leg and bring one knee towards your stomach and hold it with your opposite hand. Next, gently twist your spine as you pull your knee towards the floor across your body. You don’t need to touch the floor with your knee. The key is to keep both your shoulders on the floor as you stretch and twist your spine. Once back to the starting position, you can do the opposite side.Sit with your legs crossed and place both hands behind you with palms flat on the floor and fingers pointing outwards. Shift your weight to your hands as you slowly let your head fall back. Apply pressure on your palms as you lift off your body and butt off the floor, and you slowly bring your chest and hips towards the ceiling. Pause for a few seconds, go back to the starting position and repeat.
Stand straight and inhale as you reach your arms high up over your head. Stretch your arms up as you gradually stand on your toes. Feel your entire body stretching. Exhale and return to the standing position. Now slowly bend forward and touch your toes. Feel every bone in your spine bend one after the other slowly. Avoid bending your knees. You can feel your entire torso stretch, beginning from your neck, to upper back, middle back, lower back, hamstrings, feet, shoulders and hands.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the Doctors are their independent professional judgment and we do not take any responsibility for the accuracy of their views. This should not be considered as a substitute for Physician’s advice. Please consult your treating Physician for more detailsNEXT SLIDESHOW
Only 1 in 10 people know their cholesterol level.
Cholesterol plays a very important role in the functioning of your body cells. However, having excess of cholesterol in your blood can lead to heart disease.Less than 50 per cent people know their blood pressure.
High BP makes you prone to the risk of heart disease. Monitor your blood pressure, ideally it should be below 120 over 80 (120/80).Most people don’t know their Body Mass Index (BMI).
Having a high BMI or being overweight dramatically increases your heart disease risk. Not only that, it can even lead to type 2 diabetes.Most people think smoking is not life threatening.
Did you know smoking significantly puts you at risk of heart disease. If you stop smoking, it will take off 10 years off your heart age.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the Doctors are their independent professional judgment and we do not take any responsibility for the accuracy of their views. This should not be considered as a substitute for Physician’s advice. Please consult your treating Physician for more details.
Calcium is an extremely important mineral in the body. It is needed for healthy bones and teeth and also needed for the smooth functioning of heart, nerves, and even the blood-clotting systems. But here are some important rules:Caffeine can decrease calcium absorption, and possibly lead to osteoporosis. Ingestion of oxalates (as in chocolate and spinach), iron (as in liver and raisins), and phytates (found in whole grains) also impair calcium absorption.Time your calcium and multi vitamin tablets. Taking them together can interfere with the absorption of iron in multi vitamin. So don’t take the two together.It should be noted that calcium supplements may interfere with certain laboratory tests (including cholesterol tests), possibly causing false tests results.Potentially dangerous calcium supplementation is known to cause gastrointestinal side effects such as constipation and dyspepsia and also interfere with absorption of various medications such as anti-hypertensives and anti-epileptics. So consult your doctor.Smoking and alcohol not only increase the risk of osteoporosis but may also interfere with the absorption of calcium in your body. Consider quitting the habit if you want better results.A good rule of thumb to use when grocery shopping is if you can’t pronounce the ingredients then you shouldn’t be putting it in your body. Fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and whole grain foods are best for your body. Many breads that claim to be whole grain and nutritious are also full of preservatives and excess sugar. Take eating healthy a step further by baking as much food as you can from scratch. You’ll gain peace of mind knowing exactly what ingredients went into the food you’re eating. Also, keep an eye on eye on the nutritional labels of the foods you ingest and even the meds or treatments you use on your body

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the Doctors are their independent professional judgment and we do not take any responsibility for the accuracy of their views. This should not be considered as a substitute for Physician’s advice. Please consult your treating Physician for more details.
We all dread heart diseases and its grave consequences but how smart are we when it comes to matters of the ‘heart’. It is because of our sheer negligence that a lot of us succumb to heart ailments, the damage of which is many a times irreversible. Here is a quick test to check how ‘heart smart’ are you.