This year’s World Heart Day focuses on the essential step of understanding our hearts better. Because the more we know, the better care we can take of them. The World Heart Federation reveals that 1 in 3 cardiovascular disease (CVD) deaths occur prematurely and are often preventable.
The heart is the centre of our existence, serving as the vital pump that circulates blood, oxygen, and nutrients, maintaining the delicate balance that keeps us alive and well. Despite this, awareness about heart health is not always our top priority and can often be difficult to find. However, knowing more empowers us to take better care of our health that can help prevent cardiovascular disease. There are some risk factors – like family history – that we cannot change, but our lifestyle choices like diet, exercise and avoiding risk factors like tobacco and alcohol can dramatically lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Here are some simple steps that you can take to lower your risk of cardiovascular disease:
- Eat smart: Fresh, unprocessed foods are best, include fruit and vegetables in your diet
- Move more: At least 30 minutes of moderate exercise, five days a week is recommended
- Avoid tobacco: Your risk of heart disease halves within a year of quitting smoking
- Limit alcohol: No level of alcohol is ‘safe’ for heart health
- Know your numbers: Regular checks like blood pressure and cholesterol are crucial to keeping on top of your health
- Manage stress: Find stress-reducing activities you enjoy
To learn more about your heart, cardiovascular disease, physical activity and cardiovascular disease and cardiac rehabilitation, Physiopedia has some great resources to improve your knowledge. Browse through our category on cardiovascular disease to learn more! Remember, taking care of your heart starts with knowing it well. You can get involved with the conversation for #WorldHeartDay on social media, and pick up some more useful tips and resources.