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September 29th of every year is observed as the World Heart Day. The day is celebrated with the aim of creating awareness about cardiovascular diseases, their impact, and prevention. This day was first observed in 1999 due to collaboration between the World Heart Federation and the World Health Organisation. Antoni Bayes de Luna conceived the idea to dedicate a day to raise awareness about heart diseases.
According to the organization, the aim behind the World Heart Day is to stress upon the fact that cardiovascular diseases including strokes and heart attacks are the leading cause of death worldwide. Almost 17.9 million people lose their lives to heart disease every year. The World Heart Day highlights the actions that can be taken to control and prevent CVD. The World Heart Federation aims to educate people that factors like unhealthy diet, lack of physical activity, and consumption of tobacco are risk factors. By controlling these factors, around 80 percent of premature deaths due to heart disease can be prevented.
The world is still reeling from the ongoing pandemic and trying to come to terms with it. At times like these, stress and anxiety are more commonplace than ever before. It is therefore of utmost importance, now more than ever, to take care of our hearts. We already know that heart disease is the primary cause of death all over the globe. Causes like smoking, pollution, high blood pressure, obesity are some factors that lead to cardiovascular disease. Here are a few easy ways to ensure that our hearts stay healthy.
With an erratic lifestyle come bad eating habits. Whether it is the consumption of processed food, or eating at the weirdest times, food habits play a big role in heart health. We should try to include healthy, home-cooked food in our diets as far as possible. Moreover, we should try to ensure that the food we consume is made from fresh ingredients. We need to include locally grown vegetables, protein-rich items, lentils, whole grains, and healthy oils in our daily intake of food.
Life has changed completely during the past few months. Even before the pandemic, most of us were leading a life with no break. Hectic work schedules, irregular sleep, and lots of stress have become normal for most of us. However, it is of utmost importance that we try to stay calm and maintain composure. Especially now, when all of us are dealing with the fear of the infection and are worried about the safety of family, we need to sit back and take a breath. Meditation, talking to our loved ones often, sharing our fears, etc. can help us to manage stress.
Exercise is one of the best ways to stay heart-healthy. Not only does physical activity keep our heart-healthy, but also our minds calm. A great stress buster, we should try to exercise for around 30-45 minutes a day. A brisk walk can also work wonders for our hearts.
We often tend to take the act of sleeping for granted and do not realize its importance. Lack of sleep increases the risk of heart disease. Less sleep also reduces concentration, makes us irritable, and leads to other problems with health. We need to ensure that we get at least 7-8 hours of good quality sleep.
Even after ensuring we live a healthy lifestyle; we need to make sure we get ourselves checked regularly. This becomes even more important with advancing age. With regular check-ups, we can make sure that heart health is maintained, and medications prescribed as and when needed.
On the occasion of World Heart Day, we should pledge to ourselves, that by following simple steps, we will live a healthy lifestyle and take care of our hearts.