A wise man said, “Sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eye.” I bet that is true, more so in the case of heart health, I think if the heart could talk it would be cringing at a lot of our actions and screaming don’t do that to me.
The heart’s plea was answered in the form of World Heart Day on 29th September. World Heart Federation launched this campaign in 2000. The purpose of this day is to make the heart heard and open our eyes to many facts, the most crucial of which is the fact that Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are the world’s leading cause of deaths, almost 17.5 million/year.
Realisation and awareness are the paths which will help WHF reach its goal of 25 by 25, to aid WHO mission of curbing the deaths due to Non-communicable disease. This goal 25 by 25 aims to reduce the death rate from CVD by 25% by 2025. It’s an international observance, where everybody comes together at this platform to raise and create awareness about heart health. Individuals, Government organization, non-government organizations, people from the medical field, visionaries all come to aid improving heart health and contribute in any way they can.
The main point that they try to drive home is that people can bring about a change if they work on the following 4 risk factors – Obesity, Smoking, Unhealthy Food and Sedentary Lifestyle. Their intel says working on these can avoid premature deaths by 80%. Just that much is inspiration enough.
Still, there is more, this year theme is “Share Your Power”, focusing on how you power up your heart. You may share your fitness mantra, tweet it, post pics, choose a rally or word of mouth would do as well. Follow your idea to be on top of heart health and inspire others to do the same. You may start small or go big. If it seems daunting, then let me tell you generally we overcomplicate the matters of the heart; however here are a few pointers by WFD that can guide you in the right direction:
- Get Active: 30 minutes or more of physical activity is required every day to beat stress and obesity. Both major factors for CVD. You may choose to exercise or dancercise, or just take baby steps, like taking stairs, doing household chores, playing outdoor, or whatever works for you
- Stop Smoking: No brainer, good heart means smoking has to go. Did you know that if you were to leave smoking after a long period, it will take up to 15 years for your body to recover from the damage?
- Eat Healthy: No rocket science here, you have to have more fruits and vegetables and less processed foods
- Maintain a Healthy Weight: Being obese is never good for the heart, it raises the risk of CVD. So keep a check on your BMI and maintain it
- Know Your Numbers: High BP is another major risk factor for heart attacks or strokes, with no apparent symptoms, so a regular check-up is what will keep your heart safe
- Know the Signs: With the ever-increasing obesity levels and other risk factors, anybody can fall prey to CVD, so knowledge about symptoms, may get you the necessary help when needed before it’s too late
We all talk about heartache, we may not be able to save us the emotional one, but the physical is in our hands. Let’s pledge to keep our heart happy and healthy. On that note, hand on my heart I am off for a walk. Care to join me?