Leading a sedentary lifestyle could be hazardous for your heart

The city of dreams is far away from being in fine feather. Long working hours, job stress, lack of sleep and long commuting hours are the key barriers which come in the way of making Mumbai’s heart healthy, in addition to the temptation of tasty food.

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Most of us today are over-burdened with our tightly-packed work schedules, with endless targets to achieve and several commitments to fulfil every day, be it personal or professional. Although we know the impact of the instant life we lead today and how it takes a toll on our health, we tend to forget to take care of ourselves. The scenario in Mumbai today is such that it’s no shocker that a 26-year-old boy with no history of smoking or drug consumption suffers from a heart ailment.

As we get caught up with our busy sedentary lives, we give up physical activity but naturally, get afflicted by various chronic illnesses and fall prey to stress. Picking up unhealthy eating habits is also one of the causes of these ailments. A range of cardiac diseases has taken birth in this era too, with almost four lakh people succumbing to heart-related dysfunctions over the last 15 years in Mumbai.


Talking about the same, a Cardiac Surgeon in Mumbai, Dr Zainulabedin Hamdulay, said, "Unhealthy lifestyle habits like poor diet, stress, physical inactivity, smoking & lack of sleep contributes towards Heart Diseases. People between the age group of 35 to 60 are affected the most and tend to often ignore their health in today’s fast pace life."

The city of dreams is far away from being in fine feather. Long working hours, job stress, lack of sleep and long commuting hours, are the key barriers which come in the way of making Mumbai’s heart healthy, in addition to the temptation of tasty food (but unhealthy) and injurious habits like smoking and drinking, on a regular basis. 

Besides lifestyle, there is tremendous environmental stress and pollution in the city. Nanoparticles and gaseous fumes emitted from vehicles and other sources also contribute to an increase in the risk of coronary heart diseases. We lose 18 lives to Tuberculosis every day, even though the statistics have climbed down in the past few years.

The demographic profile of people getting affected by ailments has changed over the years. Earlier, it was uncommon for anyone to contract a heart disease before the age of 50. But today, we find people suffering from diabetes, hypertension and liver ailments, teenagers and youth alike. The popularisation of alcohol consumption and substance abuse has also taken over the youth, as a result of which, there is a surge in the number of young patients with high blood pressure and cancer.


Adding more to the thought, Dr Hamdulay, said, "In order to avoid or reduce such health related issues, one needs to follow a balanced lifestyle." Here are some lifestyle changes that can help the ones in need


  • Exercise at least 30 minutes a day on most days of the week
  • Eat a diet that's low in salt and saturated fat
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Manage Stress
  • Control other health conditions, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes
  • Quit smoking


Managing stress by taking up yoga and meditation exercises can help you distress effectively while commuting to and fro. Walking at least 20 minutes a day and reducing salt intake can go a long way to strengthen your heart. Include more green leafy vegetable, lean meat, dry fruits and milk lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases. And of course, giving up unhealthy habits like smoking and excessive drinking as well as junk food can save you from obesity and diabetes.

Note: This is a guest article written by Dr Zainulabedin Hamdulay, a leading Cardiac Surgeon from Mumbai. He currently serves as the Director of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery at Global Hospital and is the Joint Secretary and Treasurer of Indian Association of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgeons. To know more details about him, visit www.drhamdulay.com 

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