World Heart Day, 29th September is an international campaign day to promote people’s awareness of the alarming upsurge of Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) and stroke prevention.
According to the World Heart Federation, Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading killer in the world that is caused from habits like smoking, obesity. high blood pressure, diabetes, air pollution among many other factors.
American actor Eric Mabius cleverly said: ‘You do have to follow your heart, otherwise you’re living a false life.’
The most important organ which gives meaning to living a life is the heart. It is from the heart that we say all the lovable words, our love for each other stems from the heart, and it is from the same heart that we do the best.
Hence, World Heart Day is commemorated today to remind us to give the best care for our hearts.
History – World Heart Day 2020
In 1999, the announcement of World Heart Day was made by the World Heart Federation (WHF), in conjunction with the World Health Organization (WHO).
The idea was proposed by Antoni Bayés de Luna who was the president of WHF from 1997-99. Situated in Geneva, Switzerland, WHF is a Non-Government organization that is committed to fight heart disease and prevent stroke globally.
The first celebration took place on 24th September 2000 and Heart Day was observed on the last Sunday of September every year till 2011.
Fast forward to this year, the celebration is probably the most challenging since its origin, thanks to the ongoing pandemic and severe disruption in routine healthcare system.
Hence, this year’s theme of celebration is “use heart to beat heartbreak (cardiovascular disease)” which can be achieved through a systematic understanding of the risk factors, taking appropriate steps to combat.
Global threat – CVD is the number one killer on the planet.
Amongst all the non-communicable diseases, CVD including strokes has become the world’s leading cause of death. Towards the beginning of 2020, with the outbreak of novel coronavirus, it posed a vulnerable risk to heart patients, in particular.
Those who would generally go to hospitals and doctors for their regular check-ups or for emergencies other than COVID-19 issues are avoiding to take care of themselves for fear of contracting the virus.
The government should build up the confidence in people for getting themselves assured that the diagnostic centers, clinics, and hospitals are safe.
Some lifestyle strategies to prevent heart diseases and to keep the heart healthy:
- Quit smoking or avoid smokeless tobacco. Chemicals in tobacco cause damage to the heart and blood vessels. When you smoke, it reduces the oxygen in the blood, thereby increasing your blood pressure. To supply enough oxygen to the body and brain the heart pumping rate increases. It has been seen that after you have quit cigarette smoking the heart disease reduces significantly and you start reaping good results.
- Daily physical activity for about 30 to 60 minutes. Physical activity helps you to manage your weight and reduces strain on your heart, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes.
- Plan a heart-healthy diet which may include vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains. Limit your intake of salt, sugar, processed carbohydrates, alcohol, saturated fat, and trans-fat.
- Sleep well. Sleep for at least seven hours in the night must be your priority in life. Obstructive sleep increases heart risk. If you have a good sleep but still feel tired, you should consult your doctor.
- Manage your stress by physical activity, exercise, or meditation
- Regular health check-ups on your blood pressure, cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes can help you to decide whether you need to take any action or not.
If you have any conditions which need the attention of your medical consultant, make sure to adhere to the advice and prescriptions in order to live a healthy lifestyle. Read more about CVD here.