Wednesday, October 6, 2021

World Heart Day: Ways to stay healthy from the expert cardiologists of The Philippine Heart Association


World Heart Day is celebrated every year on September 29. It is a significant day for people committed to reducing global mortality from non-communicable diseases such as the people behind The Philippine Heart Association. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is accountable for nearly half of all non-communicable disease deaths making it the world's number one killer. World Heart Day is the perfect day where people can unite in the fight against CVD and reduce the global disease burden. 

Did you know that heart disease and stroke, is the world's leading cause of death claiming 18.6 million lives each year? 

During the Usapang Puso sa Puso webinar program organized by The Philippine Heart Association (PHA) on Facebook recently, Dr. Vilela mentioned that the best way to maintaining a healthy heart would be to eat less sodium, eat nutritious food and exercise regularly. Saying it may seem easy but doing it may entail hard work and perseverance. 

Usapang Puso sa Puso episode hosts Dr. Rob Pierre Reyes and Doc Ricky Tiongco

Allow me to summarize what I had learned or key takeaways I have had as I listened and watch the Usapang Puso sa Puso episode with guest panelists and medical experts along with fitness couple coaches Toni and Jim Saret who are both PHA ambassadors as they help promote Fitheart Minute and other exercise programs/camapigns introduced by PHA.  

Get active

You have to get moving. Be it as simple as a 1-minute activity or exercise, you need to keep those muscles and heart going. Keeping your heart healthy is something you can work on every day. What you eat, how much you move, whether you smoke and controlling your cholesterol and blood pressure are things that can have a big impact on your heart.

Celebrity coaches Toni and Jim Saret even demonstrated how one can do a one-minute exercise using a towel right in the comforts of your own home. You can even do it while you are sitting on a chair. 

Toni and Jim Saret are some of the episode's guests

The power fitness couple shows how one can exercise at home.

Doing regular physical activity reduces your risk of having a heart attack or developing heart disease. Keeping active helps to control common heart disease risk factors, including: 
  1. High blood pressure,  
  2. High cholesterol, and 
  3. Being overweight.  
Regular physical activity can also help strengthen your bones and muscles. It can help you feel more energetic, happier and relaxed. When you enjoy being active, you’re more likely to do
it more often. 

Adults who sit less throughout the day have a lower risk of early death, particularly from heart disease. Stay motivated by doing physical activity together with a group of friends or family, or even with your dog. 

Eat a healthy heart diet

Healthy eating for a healthy heart is a pattern. It doesn’t focus on one type of food or nutrient, but rather on what you eat over days, weeks and months. Cut down on salty foods. Say no to junkfoods, no to preservatives, do not eat too much sweets. Instead eat more fiber, green leafy vegetables. This style of eating is naturally low in saturated and trans fats, salt and added sugar. It’s rich in wholegrains, fibre, antioxidants and unsaturated fats. A diet full of a variety of fruit and vegetables is linked to healthier hearts and a lower risk of heart disease. You need an effort to make healthier food choices. The best fats to include in your diet are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated (omega-3 and omega-6) fats. You can find these healthier fats in avocados, nuts, fish and sunflower seeds. 

Quit smoking

The first step to quitting is understanding the risks associated with smoking.  

Smoking damages the blood vessels leading to your heart, brain and other parts of your body. This makes you four times more likely to die of heart attack or stroke and three times more likely to die from sudden cardiac death. 

Know your numbers

You can’t feel high blood pressure. That’s why it’s important to get it checked and learn about how to manage it. 

Most importantly, see your cardiologist doctors for heart check-up

During a Heart Health Check, your doctor will assess your
risk factors for heart disease, including your: 
  • Blood pressure 
  • Cholesterol 
  • Diet  
  • Physical activity levels  
  • Medical and family history. 
Your doctor will then inform you whether you’re at low, moderate or high risk of a heart attack or stroke in the next five years. The most important part of this check-up is working with your doctor to manage your risk factors to improve your heart health. 

Lastly, follow, listen and watch Usapang Puso sa Puso via PHA's Facebook page for more informaion regarding heart health. 

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