World Heart Day: Tips and Tricks to Ensure Healthy Heart for Working Professionals

Life of a working professional usually revolves around reaching office on time, long commuting hours, office schedule, targets, project and deadlines among others. Majority of working professionals cannot maintain a work-life balance and not able to follow a healthy lifestyle, which combined with work stress results in restlessness/low energy at work and poor productivity.

This unhealthy lifestyle will eventually lead to an unhealthy heart. Here are some tips by Dr Nikesh Jain, Consultant Cardiologist, Jaslok Hospital & Research Centre to achieve a healthy heart despite having a busy work schedule.

Eating patterns

Never Skip your Breakfast – good healthy breakfast should be the first thing to kickstart to your day. You should have breakfast comprising fruits, cereals, nuts and seeds, high fiber foods and yogurt. Avoid fried/oily breakfast. As the saying goes – Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.

Replace work-time munchies – Replace unhealthy snacks/munchies that most tend to have during work with healthy foods like – fruits/salads/nuts and seeds/multigrain bread sandwich/popcorn/rice puff.

Junk food is junk – which provides only calories and fats, and no nutrition. Keep a check on salt and sugar which are in excess in junk/processed foods.

Eat less but have nutritious food. Extra calories will only give you more body weight and make you lethargic. Space your meals every 5-6 hours. Avoid prolonged fasting. Also, avoid work discussion/gadgets during eating.

Regular Exercise

Minimum recommendation for a healthy heart is 45-60 min of a brisk walk. But most of them start early and by evening they are already exhausted.

Do exercise regularly and utilize your free time. Take stairs instead of lifts – yes of course if office on higher floors, climb couple of floors and then take lift. Do home-based exercises for 20-30 min – Covid has taught us to continue to stay fit without going to gyms. Do yoga asanas, push-ups, suryanamaskar, planks and many more to the list.

Have lots of water

Water detoxifies your body. You should have atleast 10-12 glasses of water in a day. Always keep a bottle of water on your desk.

Keep a check on caffeine

People tend to have lots of Tea/coffee during work/meetings. It just adds to calories especially with sugar added to it. You can change to healthy one like green tea, avoid sugar – can take artificial sweeteners.

Avoid Smoking/Alcohol consumption

Both smoking and alcohol are used as stress relievers by many, but ultimately it has harmful effects on heart and body and stress remains the same or even increases when health problem appear due to smoking/alcohol.

Ensure adequate sleep

You should have atleast 8-9 hours of sleep for a healthy heart. Adequate sleep is necessary for repair work of your body.

Managing Stress

Stress is the most important factor which damages your heart and body, even if you don’t have other risk factors like diabetes, blood pressure, cholesterol. Do yoga/meditation to relieve your stress. Even planning yoga/meditation session at the workplace is also helpful. Having a good social life also relieves stress – meet friends, spend quality time with family also reduces stress.

Making a healthy change though difficult will make you fit in long term and will increase your work productivity. Work Hard, Party Harder but Eat Healthy, do Exercise – Stay Fit to have a healthy heart.