A healthy heart implies ‘Cardiovascular fitness’. Cardiovascular fitness is the result of your heart, lungs, muscles and blood working together in concert, while you exercise. Cardiovascular fitness is inextricably linked with health. Listed below are 10 Common Sense (CS) Tips to ensure the ‘CS’ of Cardiac Strength.
1. Cease Smoking. Besides its potential to cause cancer, smoking is very injurious to the health of your heart.
2. Curb Salt intake. Prolonged use of additional salt in the diet raises blood pressure.
3. Control Sugar inputs. India is fast becoming the ‘Diabetic capital of the World’. Our Carbohydrate (sugar) intake needs modulation to reduce the chances of becoming diabetic, which is a condition associated with increased heart disease. If you are already a Diabetic, please monitor your sugar levels and keep them in normal range with proper diet, and medications
4. Combat Stress. Learn to walk away from stressful situations. Plan, prepare and do your work systematically so that stress factors are reduced.
5. Correct Size to be maintained, in that keep your body mass index within normal limits. Excess weight adds strain to the heart’s pumping ability.
6. Cholesterol Status to be monitored. The hype on the use of drugs to reduce Cholesterol has now been challenged, but we know that high levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood are associated with increase in cardiovascular incidents
7. Commence Stretching, implying get into some form of regular exercise. A simple brisk walk every day for about 40 minutes a day is the best. If you have been sedentary for a long time, are significantly overweight, are suffering from any form of cardiovascular or metabolic disease or have any joint problems, seek medical advice before beginning any sort of new workout routine.
8. Customised Screening, referring to a regular annual check with your doctor for your general health status, blood pressure and monitoring of the blood sugar levels.
9. Cheerful Smiles, have a good laugh, meet up with friends. Join the Alumni associations of your school / college, to meet up with old friends, and recollect good times, which, by far, is the best ‘heart tonic’!
10. Comfortable Sleep. Sleep deprivation over time leads to early cardiac fatigue and poor health. Anything less than 8 hours a day is unhealthy
With best wishes for healthy hearts to all,
Dr C S Rajan
Emeritus Consultant Surgeon, St Martha’s Hospital, Bangalore
Presently Editorial Board member, Indian Journal of Surgery, 2019-2024
1] President, Surgical Society of Bengaluru, Association of Surgeons of India City Branch, (SSBASICC) 2006.
2] Chairman of Karnataka State Chapter of Association of Surgeons of India, (KSCASI), 2016 – 2017.
3] Governing Council Member, Association of Surgeons of India, (ASI) 2010 – 2015.
4] HoD Surgery and Director DNB Studies, St Martha’s Hospital, Bengaluru, 2003 – 2013.