Exercise Is Vital To Your Heart Health
Ask Dr. Hima Mikkilineni about her work as a cardiologist with the Cardiovascular Institute of Central Florida and expect a smile in return.
“I really love what I’m doing,” says Dr. Mikkilineni. “There is great satisfaction in helping people get healthier.”
While growing up in southern India, Mikkilineni always knew she wanted to be a physician. After earning her medical degree in internal medicine from Siddhartha Medical College in her native country, Mikkilineni moved to the United States. She enrolled at the University of Toledo for her fellowship and residency in internal medicine from 2003-2006, while still trying to decide on a specialty.
“I looked at a number of specialties, including pulmonary care,” says Mikkilineni. “But then I met a cardiologist at the University of Toledo who really inspired me and encouraged me to consider cardiology.”
Mikkilineni made the commitment and entered a cardiology fellowship program at the University of Toledo from 2006-2009. A year prior to completing her fellowship program, Mikkilineni visited a longtime friend and fellow physician in Ocala.
“I came to visit in January and of course it was cold and snowing in Toledo,” she says. “But Ocala was nice and warm with plenty of sunshine. I fell in love with the weather and since I already had a good friend here, I decided I would like to practice and live in Ocala.”
When she applied for a position with Cardiovascular Institute of Central Florida, Mikkilineni discovered another bonus to moving to Ocala. Dr. Srisha Rao, who was the first and only female cardiologist in Ocala for more than a decade, was a CICF partner. Mikkilineni joined the CICF staff in November 2009.
“Dr. Mikkilineni is the perfect combination of in-depth cardiology knowledge and great empathy for her patients,” says Dr. Rao. “We are very proud to have her in our partnership and to be able to offer her services to our patients.”
Mikkilineni logs long 10-12 hour workdays, splitting her time between seeing patients in the hospital and in her office. Part of her care is encouraging her patients to make heart-healthy lifestyle choices, including diet and exercise.
“Along with good medical care, it’s very important for people to exercise for a healthy heart,” she says. “I like my patients to exercise consistently three to four times a week. They can walk, use a stationary bike or do water exercises. What’s important is that they do something they enjoy and do it consistently.”
And despite her long workdays and hectic home life, Mikkilineni follows her own exercise advice. She and her husband Venkat Veerapaneni, who is a computer software programmer, have a four-year-old son named Anish. Following family time, it is usually late evening when Mikkilineni climbs on her own treadmill at home.
“It isn’t always easy to find time to exercise,” says Mikkilineni.”But it is vital to your heart health.”