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L.Srikumar Pai
B.Sc( Engg.), MIE, MIWWA, MICI
Civil Engineer & CAD Specialist
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How to keep your heart in good shape

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His are the hands that have touched and healed many hearts. Cardiac surgeon Dr Devi Shetty speaks from and for the heart as he tells us how we can keep the old ticker in good shape

It doesn't take much to keep your heart brimming with good health. A few dos and don'ts, and you're in the right beat. Here's over to the good doctor for his prescription to a healthy heart...

Heed your diet
- Reduce your fat and carbohydrate intake
- Avoid fried foods
- Eat fruits and vegetables
- Keep your oil consumption to no more than 3-4tsp per individual per day. Use any oil.

There is nothing to prove that olive oil is a better oil. Whether it is sugar or oil, it's best had in the form nature meant for us to have, like nuts for our oil requirement, and fruits and sugarcane for sugar. Anything that is had in concentrated form is bad for the system.

- Stay away from red meat; chicken and fish are fine.

Stay active
- Exercise for at least half an hour daily. Exercise is best done in the morning when there is release of some chemical substances in the brain that keeps you active throughout the day. Preferably, exercise on an empty stomach.
- Choose any form of exercise like swimming, gymming, brisk walking, playing a sport; anything that makes you sweat. People who exercise tend to stay younger and more active for a much longer time than people who do not exercise.

At the heart of it
- Every Indian above the age of 40 must get a 64-slice CT Scan done. This helps detect the presence of heart disease, if any, 10 years ahead of its onset. It helps to detect early onset of coronary artery disease, and is the best tool available today to detect any anticipated heart problem.
- Diabetics and hypertensive people should control their diabetes and hypertension, respectively, as these conditions can lead to heart problems. As much as 16-17% of the population living in cities has diabetes. Hypertension should, ideally, be controlled by exercise and diet, failing which medication is necessary.
- If someone has had a family history of heart disease, or has had a heart attack at a younger age, they're more vulnerable to heart disease. At least once a year, they should go for a routine cardiac evaluation like Echo, ECG, stress test, and blood tests. And once every 3-4 years, they should go for the 64-slice CT Scan.
- Consult a doctor if you have breathing difficulties, chest pain or palpitations.

Soak in spirituality
I want every Indian to become spiritual. In any activity that you do in life, there are no guarantees. You can lose your job; you can lose your loved ones. Anything can happen.

What will keep you calm is your belief in a superpower, what we call as God. Know that everything what is fair for you will be done. I am not saying you should be religious, but you should be spiritual. Belief in a superpower will give you the strength to overcome difficulties. We need to have the resolve and strength to wait for the cloud to pass.

Before I do any heart operation I pray to God and I pray to Him after the surgery. Because as a heart surgeon if I ever think that the outcome of my surgery is my skill, I am mistaken.

Any activity you do, do it in the name of God. Whatever the outcome, it is not in your hand. This approach will calm you down, and you'll be able to perform much better.

Quit Smoking and go easy on alcohol
Smoking is one habit which will definitely land you in trouble. Remember, it's never too late in life to give up smoking. Lot of the injuries you have done by smoking can be reversed by quitting smoking.

Alcohol again can injure you, very significantly, but moderation may not harm you to that level, provided you're able to control it. No alcohol or wine is good for you. To quit smoking you need professional hand holding where psychologists will help you go through it.

World Heart Day message
I don't want people to think they can do whatever they want with their bodies and when they're in trouble, they can go buy heart care. Work hard and try to protect your heart. No doctor in the world can help you if you don't want to help yourself. Do not look at us doctors as saviours. First, don't land yourself in this trouble. Your effort should be to keep away from us.


( Courtesy: )




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