Articles on healthy heart

4 Habits That Are Damaging Your Heart!

Dr. Dt. Souvick Dey, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Certain habits can cause damage to your heart even if you maintain a healthy diet and exercise regularly. According to researchers, working people having who have a desk job are more prone to suffer from heart conditions due to stress in their work life, lack of proper rest, limited movement, etc. Most of the times you tend to ignore your bad habits as the side effects do not occur immediately but can cause serious damage to your heart. Following are the common bad habits that you should avoid for a healthier heart-1. Sitting all daySomething as seemingly trivial as it is, sitting all day can have an adverse effect on your heart. According to studies, if your job involves sitting on a desk for more than five hours then you have double the risk of suffering a heart failure compared to a person who has an active lifestyle. Make sure you take at least a five minute walk in an hour to reduce chances of hardening the arteries. A sedentary lifestyle has serious side effects on your overall health too.2. Stress too much Stress causes the body to release adrenaline which influences the way your body functions. In that case there might be an increase in heart rate or your blood pressure level. Over time, stress can cause damage to the blood vessels in your heart and increase your risk of sudden stroke or heart attack.3. Overdoing it on saltExcessive sodium can spike your blood pressure thereby making your more vulnerable to heart conditions. Processed foods like potato chips, canned vegetables, frozen meals and meats contain a fair amount of sodium which can have an adverse effect on your heart. It is important to take the nutritional value of these foods in account before purchasing it so that you get the ones with lowest amount of sodium.4. Not getting enough sleepThe heart rate dips when you sleep and goes up and down as a response to your dreams in various stages of your sleep. It is important for your heart to rest as it actively works in your waking hours. Sleep deprivation has similar effects on your heart like stress and can wreck your cardiovascular health. It is of utmost importance to sleep for at 7 hours to keep your heart healthy

15 Ways to Keep Your Heart Healthy and Happy

Dr. Anju Atreya, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Do all of these as part of your daily routine and you will have a fine heart that will keep beating strong for years!September 29 is World Heart Day and it would be the right time to take a moment to check how your heart is doing and feeling!Have you been kind to it and given it all the love and attention it deserves; or has your heart been ignored?Your heart is the centre of your whole system and here's what you can do to keep it happy and healthy:Strengthen the muscles of your heart by getting regular exerciseAs with other muscles, your heart muscles become strong when they are made to contract and release repeatedly at a fast pace.This keeps your heart beating nicely. It also burns away any accumulated fat that could deposit in your arteries that leads to heart attacks. Keep the pipe lines clean!Pick one activity from here, and do it six days a week for 30 minutes:WalkYogaJogRunCycleSwimAerobics/zumba/kick boxingActive sport (football, tennis, badminton; etc)Eat heart healthy foods like avocado, oatmeal, salmon, olive oil, nuts, berries, pure chocolate (100 per cent), legumes and spinach. Make one of these a part of every meal.Cut out the ugly artery clogging fried foods, oily foods, processed foods and artificial sugars.Have a cup of coffee/green tea. Both have anti-ageing properties.Have a glass of red wine (1 glass per day max). More anti-ageing!Consume high fibre diet.Get Your 5 A DayEat at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables a day. They're a good source of fibre, vitamins and minerals. There are lots of tasty ways to get your 5 A DAY, like adding chopped fruit to cereal or including vegetables in your pasta sauces and curries.Cut Down On SaltTo maintain healthy blood pressure, avoid using salt at the table and try adding less to your cooking. Once you get used to the taste of food without added salt, you can cut it out completely.Give up SmokingIf You 're a smoker, quit. It's the single best thing you can do for your heart health.Smoking is one of the main causes of coronary heart disease. A year after giving up, your risk of a heart attack falls to about half that of a smoker.Read the food labelWhen shopping, it's a good idea to look at the label on food and drink packaging to see how many calories and how much fat, salt and sugar the product contains. Understanding what is in food and how it fits in with the rest of your diet will help you make healthier choices.Meditate. This reduces stress levels and makes the heart pump normally. Even 10 minutes a day can be of much good.Do one enjoyable activity every day. A crossword; phone your best friend; read a book; watch a comedy show; anything that is happy and positive.Get your annual health check-up.Plan a daily routine that makes you happy and stick to it. This lowers stress caused by disarray.Disconnect! Take time off from your phone, computer, TV and mental hang ups.Relax your body and mind. Light candles, play happy music, spray your house with scents. Your environment affects your mood.Do Now to celebrate your Healthy Heart Day...                                                             

How Is Life After a Heart Attack

Dr. Nishith Chandra, Cardiologist
People think, after a heart attack, they cannot have a normal life. But if you take certain precautions and adopt lifestyle changes, you can live and enjoy almost normal life. Once you survive a heart attack, you tend to realize how close your brush with death has been and how important your lifestyle choices can be. Most people go on to live a productive life after a heart attack provided they can adhere to making healthy choices. Here's what you can do if you have experienced your first attack and want to change for the better:1. Start at the hospital: A person usually stays in the hospital for 3 days after an attack to monitor their condition. This duration increases if you have complications that involve procedures like a bypass surgery. Your first significant change will come in the form of your medication routine. Your existing dosage may be adjusted and you'll possibly be prescribed newer medicines that will treat and control your symptoms. You'll not only need to know the names of all your medicines, but when you have to take them. It's best you know exactly why you are taking each one of them, if there are other more economic alternatives since this may last a lifetime and what side effects they may have.2. Maintaining your mental health: Once bitten, twice shy applies for heart attack victims too. Not only do they live in a constant worry about another attack, every small symptom like a harmless muscle pull can trigger the fear factor. You also get into the "heart patient" dependent mode based on how much help you need to recover. Check for support groups and other heart attack survivors in your locality to see how they are coping. Read more about your recovery and try to keep a positive frame of mind.3. Go to a cardiac rehab: Many hospitals have a rehabilitation program that you can participate in as an outpatient or you can go to a clinic that specializes in it. Such programs help speed up your recovery. It is run by people who will hand hold you in bringing positive changes in your life to protect and strengthen your heart. You'll learn activities that positively improve heart functions and reduce your chances of developing complications or dying from heart disease. You'll also get benefit from exercises that'll be taught by a certified exercise specialist.4. Make a change in your lifestyle: Quit smoking that is an obvious one. You'll now have to lead a more active lifestyle with daily exercise. You'll also need to actively manage your diabetes and obesity. None of these changes can happen in a day. In fact, behavioral scientists suggest that you need to practice a new activity continuously for twenty one days for it to become a habit.

What to Do When Someone Has a Heart Attack

Dr. Rudradev pandey, Cardiologist
Definition A heart attack occurs when oxygen fails to reach the heart. The vital organ needs oxygen, contained in your blood, which travels through the arteries to the heart. But if an artery has a blockage in it, blood doesn’t reach the heart and the heart’s cells die, resulting in a heart attack.A heart attack is a serious, life-threatening situation — but many people who witness someone experiencing the symptoms of a heart attack don’t treat it that way. IF YOU HAVE SUSPICION OF ANY HEART PROBLEM GO AND CONSULT TO YOUR DOCTOR RATHER THAN SELF-MEDICATION. Symptoms Of Heart Attack: The symptoms of a heart attack aren’t always obvious and often differ between men and women. Those symptoms can be subtle — perhaps one reason why some people don’t make it to an emergency room — or they can be very painful. Knowing what to look for can help you know when to take action for a friend, colleague, or loved one in distress:For men: The typical male symptom is a crushing pressure behind the breastbone, also called the sternum. That pressure, can radiate to your arms (often the left arm) and can go into the back, shoulder blades, and jaw above to umblicus below. Men suffering a heart attack can break out in a sweat, may vomit or feel nauseating.The onset of pain may be gradual and last several minutes or more. Sometimes the pain fades and comes back.For women: Women can have any of the same symptoms that men experience, but women often have more “atypical” symptoms, such as shortness of breath, and they may feel some indigestion. A woman having a heart attack may also experience pain in her jaw, and could feel a little faint.These symptoms are not what most people think are indications of a heart attack, Dr Pandey says. “Doctors and patients have to be very wary when it comes to heart symptoms with women,” he says. And for good reason: Heart disease kills more women than any other health condition.What to doIt’s good to have a plan in place before a heart attack occurs, especially if the person has close relatives who have had heart attacks. According to Dr Pandey, smoking & tobacco chewing play a big part in who has a heart attack and who doesn’t. Genetics of patient also plays important role. especially in young patients with heart attack.Chances of recovery are much better if the affected artery can be opened up within an hour-and-a-half of the heart attack, making it essential to get the person having the attack to the emergency room immediately(Primary PTCA) “By the time 90 minutes go by, you want to get that artery open,” Dr Pandey says. “If you’re in a rural emergency room, and [the medical team can’t open the artery], you need clot-busting drugs.” followed by transfer to hospital with cath lab facilityYou Think It’s A Heart Attack? Dr Pandey says it’s extremely important for caregivers and friends to know the symptoms of a heart attack. Call 108 if you even suspect it's a heart attack and here’s what you can do before help arrives:Stay close. Do not leave the person to find medications to give them . It's better to call for help first; emergency personnel can administer aspirin or any other appropriate treatmentsGive a dose of sublingual nitriglycerine. If the person has been prescribed nitroglycerin in the past for heart disease, and the medication is close at hand, you can give them a dose. BUT NOT MORE THAN TWO TABLETSGo for comfort. Make the heart attack victim more comfortable by placing them in a comfortable position, loosening clothing, and staying close to provide reassuranceIf needed, give CPR. Studies have shown that CPR given by a bystander can double or triple a victim's chance of surviving cardiac arrest. If you are with someone who suddenly collapses, stops breathing, or is unresponsive, start performing hands-only CPR at 100 chest presses a minute with minimal interruptions. It’s just as effective as standard CPR

How to Diagnose Heart Attack ?

Dr. Nishith Chandra, Cardiologist
Heart Attack is  caused by blockage of the blood flow to the heart muscles.  Reduced blood flow leads to death of some portion of the heart muscle wall. While the word heart attack sounds almost fatal, it need not be the case. Knowing how to identify an attack and being aware of some simple measures can help save lives. SymptomsThe tell tale signs of a heart attack are as follows:- chest pain and discomfort usually described as a tightness or burning in the chest region- pain along the left side of the shoulder and neck, going up into the jaw, down to the arm- nausea and vomiting - profuse sweating - difficulty breathing - dizzy or fuzzy feeling - tired, extreme fatigue- anxious, apprehensive feeling However, be also aware that there are a lot of people who experience a silent heart attack. Women, obese, elderly, and diabetic patients can have silent attacks and depending on severity, either they go on with life as usual or can have a fatal attack.DiagnosisOnce you are doubtful of a heart attack, the next step is to reach the closest medical facility for a diagnosis. In addition to a detailed examination and history, the following two tests will be performed.1. Electrocardiogram (ecg): a 12-lead ecg will measure electrical activity of the heart and identify irregular electrical activity, which is indicative of a myocardial infarction.2. Blood tests: presence of certain enzymes in the blood, ck-mb and troponin are indicative of a heart attack. A complete electrolyte profile also will be done, and increase or decrease of some electrolytes is helpful in diagnosing a heart attack.3. In addition to these two, chest radiography, cardiac angiography, echocardiogram, stress test, and computed coronary tomography may also be required to confirm the diagnosis.ManagementOnce diagnosed, the first step would be to relieve the symptoms, negate the effects of reduced blood flow, and restore cardiac function. 1. Dissolve the clot - using blood thinners like aspirin & clopidogrel 2. Nitroglycerin - to dilate the blood vessels and improve blood flow, especially to the heart muscles3. Anticoagulant therapy - blood thinners are usually used to avoid blood clot formation; aspirin and heparin are the most commonly used agents.4. Drug therapy - blood pressure maintaining drugs like beta blockers and/or angiotensin-converting enzyme (ace) inhibitors are also used5. Use of statins - statins are used to reduce the amount of cholesterol in the blood and stabilize plaque deposits.In very severe cases, angioplasty and stenting or coronary bypass surgery may be required. Educating people on how to identify a heart attack and manage it is very useful and can help save lives.

Is Sitting Increasing Your Heart Risk?

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
A sedentary lifestyle may increase the risk of diseases like diabetes and heart problems. It is really important to do some moderate to intense physical activity everyday. Physical workout in the form of exercise is very beneficial for all ages. It releases good hormones and helps to reduce stress, which is also responsible for lifestyle diseases like diabetes, heart problems and obesity.According to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart failure affects over 5 million people in the US, where it contributes to around 1 in 9 deaths and costs the nation an estimated $32 billion a year.According to new research published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation: Heart Failure says –“Sitting for long periods increases heart failure risk in men, even for those who exercise regularly”The question that arises is that how does sitting increase the risk for heart failure. The reason given by Prof. Sara Rosenkranz is that when we sit for a long time, the muscle contraction activity lowers, due to which a molecule called lipoprotein lipase or LPL, shuts down. LPL converts fat into energy, for use by the body. She also explains that "We're basically telling our bodies to shut down the processes that help to stimulate metabolism throughout the day and that is not good. Just by breaking up your sedentary time, we can actually regulate that process in the body."One way to avoid prolonged sitting during the workday is to switch to a standing desk. An easier, no-cost solution is to set your smartphone timer to go off every 30 to 60 minutes during the day. When the alarm rings, “Stretch and move around the office to avoid any prolonged sitting,” Dr. Manson recommends.So, along with exercise, it is really important to also spend some time standing. Also, when we are sitting, we tend to eat more unnecessarily and even binge. Make it a point, whether you are at the workplace or at home, to spare some time in between to get up and walk around or at least do some light stretches.

Are You a Sitting Duck to Heart Disease?

Dr. Vishwas Virmani, Physiotherapist
Stand up. Stretch your muscles, they’ll thank you for it.When was the last time you had a heavy lunch, headed back to work, sat and worked at a stretch for 2 hours? Probably not too long ago. Studies have proven that people who sit for four hours or longer at a stretch are at a higher risk for chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease.Modern lifestyle and technology have helped us get ahead but not at their own cost. There are many studies that categorically prove the ill effects of sedentary lifestyle combined with crazy work hours. This means that finishing that urgent presentation without listening to your body could spell disaster for your heart. One of the greatest causes for heart attacks- sitting for long hours either at work on in front of the television, could be the worst thing you’re doing to your body.But it’s not all bad. There’s still hope for us folks that are stuck to comfy chairs all day. Bringing small changes in your daily life can go a long way. Small breaks taken in between work to just walk up to the coffee machine or climbing stairs instead of taking the elevator are seemingly inconsequential things that can actually make a difference.While hitting the gym everyday might not be possible, squeezing in just 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week could be your ticket to a longer, happier life. Pick an activity you enjoy- cycling, walking or even skipping. Anything’s good as long as it gets you off your couch!So go on, take the stairs on your way back from work. Skip that late night movie and wake up for a morning stroll instead. Your heart will thank you for it!

Holistic Approach for a Healthy Heart!!

Ms. Anu Priya, Alternative Medicine
This World Heart Day, our focus is on creating heart-healthy environments. By ensuring that people are able to make heart-healthy choices wherever they live, work and play. World Heart Day encourages us all to reduce our cardiovascular risk, and promotes a heart-healthy planet for those around us.RISK FACTORS:There are many risk factors associated with coronary heart disease and stroke. Common risk factors that can be treated or changed include tobacco exposure, high blood pressure (hypertension), high cholesterol, obesity, physical inactivity, diabetes, stress, unhealthy diets, and harmful use of alcohol. Currently the society is having high incidence of heart attacks in the younger age, thus by working on these risk factors we can create a healthy heart environment.KNEIPP SYSTEM OF HOLISTIC APPROACHAccording to the nature of all diseases by which they originate in a disordered circulation of the blood, or in corrupted and heterogeneous ingredients mixed with the blood, and in morbid matters, thus during 19th century, Father Sebastian Kneipp from Germany, recognized the value of water and thus structured “Kneipp System of Holistic Approach”. Father Kneipp insisted that the human body had to be treated as a whole. One can’t just treat the symptom; but must look at the whole body for true healing to take place. Generally disease starts in the mind, due to stress. Inner conflicts and unhappiness cause dis-ease. Dis-ease is the beginning of disease. Thus Kneipp System comprises of 5 Pillar – Hydrotherapy, Kinesiotherapy, Phytotherapy, Nutrition and Order Therapy.  Let’s review Kneipp Holistic approach for a healthy heart on this world heart day.HYDROTHERAPY (WATER)If there is magic in this world, then it is contained in water…  Hydrotherapy is the use of water for positive health benefits. These health benefits come from the mechanical and thermal effects of water interacting with the body. It includes the use of physical water properties, specifically temperature and pressure, and sometimes the delivery of minerals or herbal treatments to manipulate the body’s flow of blood, the endocrine system and associated neural systems in order to treat the symptoms of certain diseases. The term “Hydrotherapy” is derived from the Greek words “Hydro” meaning water, and “Therapia” meaning healing.The Physical Effects of Hydrotherapy on the BodyHydrotherapy uses water to deliver temperature and pressure changes to the body. These changes are sensed by the body via nerve endings in the skin and muscle, and result in neural “reflex effects” that are controlled by the brain and spinal chord. The most important of these reflex effects are vasodilatation and vasoconstriction, which are the terms used to describe the relaxation and tensing of the blood vessels in the body. These physical changes in the blood vessels cause changes in the rate of blood flow and in the metabolic functions that are linked to the rate of blood flow.Which changes happen in the body are dependent on the outside stimuli it receives; whether the water is hot or cold, the motion of the pressure, and the strength of the pressure, too. Hot and cold water act in different ways on the body. Besides the obvious tactile sensory effect, there are other “hidden” changes that take place in your body as a result of its interaction with hot or cold water.Contrast Hydrotherapy for Cardiovascular HealthContrast hydrotherapy involves the immersion of a limb or body part in alternating hot and cold water. In this way, you are exercising your circulatory and lymphatic systems, stimulating movement of nutrients into the area and waste away from the area.Hydrotherapy can “tweak” homeostatic mechanisms pertaining to body temperature regulation by affecting the autonomic nervous system and tonifying blood vessels. It also stimulates the release of nitric oxide from your artery walls, which dilates your vessels by relaxing the muscles in the vasculature, thereby reducing stress on the vessels and improving blood flow. Contrast hydrotherapy also supports the immune system by increasing lymph movement.KINESIOTHERAPY (PHYSICAL ACTIVITY)He Who Rests, Rusts!  The concept of therapeutic exercise is based on the well-balanced contrast between tension and relaxation. This is not about occasionally achieving a peak performance, but rather about doing some light exercise regularly. Today, we see an unprecedented increase in body awareness and we know how important exercise and movement are. It seems like everybody is into it. Exercise and movement keep all the parts of the body functioning through improved oxygen supply via increased circulation. As said earlier, diseases can begin in blood. If we clean up the blood, we can prevent and cure disease.If you don’t think you have time for an exercise class, walk everywhere. Walk up the stairs, even if you don’t make all of them. Turn all your daily work into exercise; stretch when you reach into your cupboard, some desktop stretches at work, bend over when you make your bed. Work both sides of the body when you vacuum, wash your car and your windows, even if it takes longer. Walk back and forth in your house often, get up during breaks. Don’t sit for extended periods at a desk. You’ve heard the phrase “use it or lose it”. Use your body! For Physical activity is not only good for the muscles, but also and in particular for the soul. It is a proven fact that movement makes us happier, more resistant to stress and more self-confident. In one word: HEALTHIER HEART.NUTRITIONYou are what you eat! Heart disease may be the leading killer of men and women, but that doesn’t mean you can’t protect yourself. In addition to exercise, being careful about what you eat—and what you don’t eat—can help you lower cholesterol, control blood pressure and blood sugar levels, and maintain a healthy weight. If you’ve already been diagnosed with heart disease or have high cholesterol or blood pressure, a heart-smart food habit can help you better manage these conditions, lowering your risk for heart attack.Improving your diet is an important step toward preventing heart disease and boost heart health, but you may feel unsure where to begin. Here are simple 6 steps to start your healthy nutrition at home.Control your portion size: How much you eat is just as important as what you eat.Eat more vegetables and fruits: Vegetables and fruits contain substances found in plants that may help prevent cardiovascular disease.Select whole grain: Whole grains are good sources of fiber and other nutrients that play a role in regulating blood pressure and heart health.Limit unhealthy fat and cholesterol: Limiting how much saturated and trans fats you eat is an important step to reduce your blood cholesterol and lower your risk of coronary artery disease.Choose low fat protein sources: Substituting plant protein for animal protein will reduce your fat and cholesterol intake.Reduce the sodium in your food: Reducing sodium is an important part of a heart-healthy diet.PHYTOTHERAPY (HERBS)Nature’s Apothecary! The practice of herbal medicine dates back to the very earliest periods of known human history. Intake of herbs everyday helps to interact directly with our body system. Upon intake they are absorbed in the blood stream; they circulate to influence our whole system. Herbs that help heart health are given below which can be taken after consulting physician-Arjuna (Botanical Name: Terminalia Arjuna) –Vagbhatta, an eminent physician of ancient India was the first to prescribe bark of Arjuna tree for heart disease. Chakradatta, another great Indian physician described it as a tonic and astringent and used it in heart diseases. Known as Marutham Pattai in Tamil.Garlic (Botanical Name: Allium Sativum)– Garlic is one of the most effective remedy to lower blood pressure. Pressure and tension are reduced because it has the power to ease the spasm of the small arteries. It also slows the pulse and modifies the heart rhythm. Garlic also helps to breakup cholesterol in the blood vessels, thereby preventing any hardening of arteries which leads to high blood pressure and heart attack.Holy Basil ( Botanical Name: Ocimum Sanctum)– Basil has a beneficial effect in cardiac disease and the weakness resulting from them. It reduces the level of blood cholesterol. They are also regarded as an adaptogen or anti-stress agent. It purifies blood and helps prevent several other common ailment.Coriander (Botanical Name: Coriandrum Sativum)– Regular drinking of coriander water helps lower blood cholesterol as it is a good diuretic and stimulates the kidneys. It is prepared by boiling dry seeds of coriander and straining the decoction after cooling.Indian Goose Berry ( Botanical Name: Emblica Officinalis)– Indian goose berry is considered as an effective remedy for heart diseases. It tones up the functions of all the organs of the body and builds up health by destroying the heterogeneous or harmful and disease causing elements. It also renews energy.Onion (Botanical Name: Allium Cepa)– Presence of essential oil, aliypropyl disulphide, catechol, protocatechuic acid, thiopropiono aldehyde, thiocynate, minerals and vitamins in onion prevents from heart attack. It assists the functioning of the heart by correcting thrombosis besides reducing blood cholesterol.Fenugreek (Botanical Name: Trigonella Foenum Graecum) – Fenugreek seeds are considered a cholesterol lowering food. Israeli scientists at Hebrew University of Jerusalem have shown that fenugreek seeds can lower blood sugar and cholesterol in both diabetic and healthy person.Parsley ( Botanical Name: Petroselinum Crispum)– The elements in parsley helps to maintain the blood vessels, particularly the capillaries and arterial system, in a healthy condition. It is thus very useful in high blood pressure.Snake Guard (Botanical Name: Trichosanthes Anguina) – The juice of the fresh leaves is useful in heart disorders like palpitation and pain in the heart due to physical exertion. It should be taken in doses of 1 or 2 tablespoon thrice daily.ORDER THERAPY (INNER BALANCE or INNER HARMONY)The order in life… According to Kneipp’s philosophy, a natural rhythm of life and absolute harmony of the soul lead to maximum vitality, productivity and pleasure. If you have found out how to balance your soul and create an inner order, you are well on the way towards restoring your health. It is the art of relaxation and rejuvenation. Take a pause of relaxation in your hectic lifestyle in order to perform your duties at an optimum level and yet not losing awareness of your inner state of well being. “ He who has no time to care for his health daily will have to have time when he is sick for weeks and months, and will finally be seriously ill”We all know that good health is not simply for sale, but require a lot of efforts for us each and every day. In this, a healthy way of living is just as important as pleasant compensation for stress and tension. Reading, music, painting or breathing exercises help you let go and gather new strength. Or just take a walk outside and enjoy nature. Just try out new things- that is the only way to really get to know yourself and your needs. If you are open to new things and always ready to learn, you can do more for your inner balance than you think. After all, the task of living an active and positive life is yours alone.

10 Minutes to a Healthy Heart

Dr. Vishwas Virmani, Physiotherapist
The strongest muscle in the body, the heart, is a wondrous organ that works for us tirelessly from the time of birth till death, break free. Seldom do we appreciate the reason why we are able to do literally everything in our life. A healthy heart is the key, or at least one of the keys to a long life. Cardiac stamina, also known as endurance, is the ability of the heart to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the body during exertion without undue fatigue. An enhanced cardiovascular stamina allows you to pursue physical activities for a longer time.Does climbing a flight of stairs leave you gasping for breath with your heart pounding in your chest? If yes, then take this as a warning sign, and work towards making your heart stronger and healthier by following simple practices that hardly take any time.Ways to increase your cardiac stamina:1. Walk and talkCardiovascular endurance can be enhanced by keeping the heart steadily beating at a faster pace. Try to walk fast and monitor your heart beat at the end of a 10-minute brisk walk. At the end of this routine, try speaking to assess your improvement. Initially, you will find it hard to speak; as your stamina is low, you get tired easily. As your endurance improves, you will experience lesser shortness of breath and will find it easier to speak at the end of your walk.2. Dare to stairThe aim is to reach 50% to 80% of your maximum heart rate and maintain it. Just keep climbing a flight of stairs whenever you can. This can easily be incorporated into your daily life; simply opt for the stairs rather than a lift or an escalator at the office, at home, while at the mall, etc. Keep doing this as often as possible as it improves cardiac blood flow and is a great workout for your body. In 10 minutes of climbing the stairs, you burn 1.5 Kcal for every 10 steps you climb.3. Jog for your heartJogging is an excellent way to increase one’s cardiac stamina. It burns nearly twice as many calories as walking does in the same time. Losing excess weight is also one of the main prerequisites for a well-oiled heart, as obesity leads to all kind of cardiovascular diseases as well as other complications. Jogging helps you stone two birds at a time. Jogging just 10 minutes at the start and end of your day will not just improve your cardiac stamina, but trust us, it is the most underrated anti-depressant and will help calm your mind down significantly.4. Hit the swimming poolSwimming is an extremely popular aerobic sport that utilises all the muscles of the body. It is perfect for summertime and studies indicate that an average of 2 hours of swimming per week will enhance your cardiac endurance drastically. 10-20 minutes of swimming each day is enough to rejuvenate your mind and get your heart thumping.5. Breathe easyTake time out to appreciate the beauty in life and nature and people around you. Spend minimum 10 minutes to meditate or indulge in some form of relaxation. Pamper yourself, work towards reaching your goals as well as on achieving true happiness. Cut yourself off from the world every once in a while to connect with your inner self. A happy you makes a healthy heart.Remember, 10 minutes a day, keeps the cardiologist away! Happy exercising!