Grandma's Tales

September 24, 2006

Matter of the heart

Filed under: Uncategorized — Geeta Padmanabhan @ 9:16 am

Today is “World Heart Day”. Apollo Hospital came out with yet another campaign. They are now joined by several other Chennai hospitals. Apollo officials appeared at crack of dawn on Elliot’s beach and distributed a brochure and the latest edition of their in-house magazine to the walkers. (Those sleeping at home needed the gyan more?) Both books have loads of info on heart matters. Their bag also contained a healthy-looking green apple (from China?) that had a heart-shaped sticker with the words “Heart loves fresh fruits”.

Some tips from the handbook:

  • Your heart beats some 100,000 times a day. For whom, they don’t say.
  • Stress, diabetes, Cholesterol, BP and obesity are risk factors you can change. Age, gender and family history are risk factors you can’t change. There is no small and big risk.
  • Smoking is a big no-no. Heart disease is highest among Indians. Of those affected 50% are below 45 years old. Scary!
  • Detected early, heart disease is manageable. Go get yourself a thorough check up. Now!
  • Have a regular exercise regimen. Eat sensibly and at proper times. Find ways to de-stress. Change a stressful situation. Spouse nags? Try this. “Let’s go to the temple / get ourselves ice-cream, dear”, etc.
  • If you dig yoga, asanas for the heart are Tadasana, Vajrasana, Shalabasana, Sarwangasana.

My fav de-stress tip: play with kids. There is no substitute to this.

Husband I sat down for a game of cards with grandkids. After a couple of rounds, the 4-year old who acts 14 noticed grandpa had collected a lot of chips. She looked at him sweetly, smiled and said, “Grandpa, why don’t you and I become a team?”

See what I mean?

Here is a line from my favourite cartoonist Randy Glasbergen:

Doctor to obese patient: “What fits your busy schedule better, exercising one hour a day or being dead 24 hours?”

Do take care.


  1. Hi …
    I too was at the blogcamp . Nice to see you take off in style.Best wishes.

    As for heart diseases , it is indeed a sad fact that while we ape most of the bad things frm amricans , we miss out in replicating their way of staying fit and regular exercises.

    Comment by ranjit nair — September 24, 2006 @ 11:48 am | Reply

  2. Thanks Ranjit. In an authentic Canadian study four years ago, it was discovered that Indians (in Canada) as an ethnic group were more prone to heart diseases than others. We absolutely need a hard look at the way we live, work and de-stress. To think that we have some of the best mechanisms to de-stress – our festivals, ayurveda, yoga, meditation and close family ties. All of which are now being promoted in the US.

    Comment by Geeta Padmanabhan — September 24, 2006 @ 6:27 pm | Reply

  3. are you sure about that?

    Comment by bobby — December 31, 2006 @ 11:45 am | Reply

  4. Hi bobby,
    Thanks for stopping by. Sure about what, result of the study on heart disease among Indians? Sadly, yes. I came to know of this when I was in the US two years ago. Since then I have spoken to a lot of cardiologists. They all confirm it. They say it is a combination of genes, sedentary lifestyles, poor eating habits and stress. In Chennai where I live, a lot of people now go for walks and gym workouts, but all that is more for losing weight than as any planned strategy to improve the health of the heart.
    Every health expert I’ve spoken to tells me the age at which Indians catch heart problems is steadily coming down and heart disease is seen most often among computer pros. I hear a lot of software companies are taking note of this.

    Comment by Geeta Padmanabhan — December 31, 2006 @ 10:58 pm | Reply

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