World Heart Day: Your heart health matters
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World Heart Day: Your heart health matters

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As women, we make sure that our loved ones are comfortable and have everything they need – if it is love, attention, or even some tough love at the end of a long conversation. What we tend to put aside is our personal health and well-being. But, one can only put it aside for so long until it catches up with you, especially for matters of the heart. Growing up in a Gujarati family, I knew the dangers of eating rich, oily food. With our staple snacks and meals, I was always conscious of how much my family, children, and I would consume such food items to stay healthy. However, even after that, I suffered from a heart attack at 53 years old.

After surviving the ordeal, I have taken various steps to ensure my heart health is at its best. This World Heart Day, I would like to share a few things that helped me listen to my body and heart.

Check your heart health

I would go to a cardiologist very rarely. Before the pandemic and my heart attack, I would visit my doctor once a year. After my heart attack, I regularly visit the doctor after a few tests like ECG and cardiogram before a visit every six months without fail. It has helped the doctor and me manage my recovery and ensure my heart functions as it should.

Prevent heart attack by managing stress

It’s easy to get caught up in daily life and its unpredictable nature. My days are long. Making sure meals are ready, my in-laws have their medication, helping my kids with their school or college work, and more, it’s hard not to worry about everything in the day. These tiny factors, while they seem small, can add stress to your body without being obvious. One change that helps me destress these days is setting an hour aside in the day to do anything I like – this could be reading, watching TV, or just taking a quick nap.

Exercise for a healthy heart

Staying active is necessary, but that doesn’t mean it has to be intense. The goal set for me is to be fit, not lose weight. I tried maintaining a gym routine, but it did not work for me. Now, I go for a brisk walk every morning for 45 mins to get some exercise during the day. 

Get a health buddy

It can be hard to do all these activities and incorporate all these changes into your life for the first time. I was lucky enough to have my husband, who made a few of these changes with me when I felt alone in the process. Over time, a few friends joined me for my daily walks. Even though it might seem hard initially, remember you have the support of your loved ones to help you along the way.

When it comes to heart health, I urge every woman to maintain her health and functions to avoid any complications in the future. Even a small lifestyle change can make a huge difference and keep you safe.

Note: This is a personal story. We recommend that you read up on any gynaecology-related queries in the articles written by our expert authors. To find them, click here.

Hetal Shah
1 posts

About author
After working as a teacher, Hetal Shah is now retired. She likes to spend her time with her family and her grandchildren.
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