Sunday, October 2, 2016

World Hearts Day – 29th September 2016

Keeping your heart healthy
is not a hard choice.
It’s a heart choice.

It doesn’t take much to keep heart disease at bay. In fact, it’s the simple things that make the biggest difference – changing lifestyle habits and being physically active, for instance. And it is not just us; even experts are on our side. They have said it loud and clear – when it comes to cardiovascular ailments, prevention is, in fact, better than cure.

World Heart Day is celebrated annually on the 29th of September. Founded in the year 2000, the campaign has been established to spread awareness about heart health. A large percentage of the society at large suffers from heart-related disorders like stroke, heart attacks, heart failures, etc. Quite clearly then, these problems are the leading cause of death across the world.

Not such a hearty scenario there.

The World Heart Foundation says that at least 80% of premature deaths due to cardiovascular diseases can be avoided by controlling four major risk factors – unhealthy eating, tobacco and alcohol use and lack of physical activity.And to drive this message home, a range of World Heart Day activities are organised, maximising reach and participation across a wide section of the society.

Creating conversations of significance matters the most when it comes to critical causes like those of heart health. On the occasion of World Heart Day, health institutes and various organizations conduct health check-ups and seminars to disseminate awareness on heart diseases, and ways one can prevent them.

We’d like to share a few ways in which you can lower the risk of heart diseases:

1. Quit smoking

Cigarette smoking remains the leading preventable cause of cardiovascular disease in both men and women, with more than 50%of heart attacks among middle-aged population are attributable to tobacco.

2. Keep your cholesterol levels in check

Aim for total cholesterol below 200 mg/dL; LDL cholesterol below 130 mg/dL and HDL above 35 mg/dL.

3. Don’t let your weight get in the way of heart health

60% of both men and women get no regular physical activity. Obesity, especially abdominal adiposity, is an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease in women.

4. Exercise regularly, keep your heart pumping

Recent evidence suggests that even moderate-intensity activity, including brisk walking, is associated with substantial reduction of the risk of cardiovascular diseases

5. Make healthy diet choices

Diets low in saturated fat and high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fibre are associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, you could even think about turning flexitarian (primarily vegetarian diet with an occasional intake of meat or fish) or vegetarian.

6. Stress management helps

Poorly controlled stress may have an adverse effect on blood lipids. Relaxation methods (meditation, breathing exercises), yoga, and stress management techniques are essential for preventing cardiovascular disease and coronary artery disease and for reducing the risk of recurrent cardiac problems.

In India, millions of people fall victim to and die of cardiovascular diseases because of unhealthy lifestyles. All it takes is taking a step, no matter how big or small and that will be the beginning of a heart healthy life. It’s about time we all live the hearty life we’re supposed to. 

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