World Heart Day, an international campaign by World Heart Federation to spread awareness about heart disease and stroke prevention is celebrated on 29th September every year.
According to the World Heart Federation, heart diseases and stroke are the world’s leading cause of death,killing 17.3 million people every year more than any other diseases and by 2030 this figure is expected to rise to 23 million.
Four major risk factors that give rise to all the heart related problems are tobacco chewing, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, excessive alcohol. The other causes being diabetes,increased blood pressure and high cholesterol.
The good news is that heart diseases are preventable and aim of this world heart day is to encourage people to make lifestyle changes.Being physically active, taking healthy diet,not smoking,limiting alcohol consumption,not being overweight and managing other risk factors like diabetes,high cholesterol,high blood pressure can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
This year world heart day is dedicated to exposing how much our environment can impact on and increase these risk factors.Hence, the theme is “heart healthy environment.”
Too often,society blames our lifestyle but the environment in which we live,study or play affects the choices we make for our heart health. Nonetheless, heart choice is not hard choice.
What is heart healthy environment ? Neighbourhoods with public places that promote physical activity such as trails for walking,running,cycling or playing outdoor games. Schools should provide physical education and nutritious meals.Workplaces and community spaces should be smoke free and have healthy food options.
Everyone should work towards promoting such heart healthy environment.
Few steps you can do for yourself -
Visit your doctor to check out on risk factors like diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Eat a healthy diet that is low in sodium, saturated fat, transfat and cholesterol and high in fibre, fresh fruits and vegetables.
Get physically active by taking a brisk walk for half an hour or 10 minutes walk thrice a day five days a week. Do more if can.
Maintain a healthy weight and body mass index
Do not smoke
Limit alcohol intake to not more than one drink per day for women or two drinks per day for men