According to statistics provided by the World Heart Foundation, Cardio Vascular Diseases such as heart attacks and stroke are responsible for 17.5m deaths per year. Research also states that these diseases amount to about 31% in all deaths across the globe.
The 2018 theme 'My Heart, Your Heart' is set at asking people all over the globe to make a promise – 'a promise as an individual to make healthier choices and lifestyle decisions, a promise to cook and eat more healthy, a promise to do more exercises and encourage your children to be more active, a promise to say no to smoking and help your loved ones quit, a promise as an healthcare professional to save more lives, and most of all, a simple promise for your heart, for my heart and for all our hearts'.
Here are 8 tips to help you get your heart in shape right now:
- Engage in hobbies and activities- one of the easiest things to do is to sit around all day but it’s also one of the most dangerous things to do. Instead, look for activities that interests you, and attempt to be active for at least one hour each day. People tend to boycott the stairs and opt for the elevator but this is actually not beneficial to our health. Instead of always using the elevator, why not opt for the stairs and squeeze a workout such as a brisk walk or a few stretches in between your busy schedule.
- Eat foods low in saturated fats and cholesterol – as we all know, too much cholesterol is fatal to the heart and our body. Being mindful of what we put in our mouths can tremendously improve our health and heart function.
- Reduce salt intake – another way to ensure our heart works and functions properly, is to avoid taking excess salt in our meals, instead of salt, you can replace with other seasonings guaranteed to still give you the taste you desire.
- Reduce alcohol and cigarette intake – prolonged use and abuse of substances such as alcohol and cigarette has an overall negative effect on the body and heart. By reducing the intake of alcohol and cigarette, you are reducing the stress on your heart and body, thus, producing a better functioning heart.
- Manage stress – Stress is inevitable and mostly out of one's control, however, one thing we can control is how we react and manage stress. Sleeping well at night also helps to manage stress.
- Look after your mental health – With the various stressors existing in the world today, it is imperative to pay attention to your mental health because it is known that people who are depressed have a higher chance of having heart diseases because they are socially isolated most of the time.
- Eat a variety of nutritious food – including foods such as fruits, vegetables and fiber that are very nutritious in your diet can help with weight, blood pressure, cholesterol level amongst other things.
- Manage your blood pressure –blood pressure isn’t usually something that you can feel, so it has the tendency to creep in without you knowing. Paying attention to your blood pressure can not only improve your health but can ultimately save your life.