Monday, October 2, 2023

Philippine Heart Association: Usapang Puso sa Puso Presents World Heart Day- Walk for Your Heart's Health


As the global campaign to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease (CVD) soldiers on this year's World Heart Day theme "Use Heart to Know Heart," this year's World Heart Day theme "Use Heart to Know Heart" focuses on addressing insufficient heart health information and the common dead malice attitude for one's well-being.

Bad genes, an unhealthy lifestyle, and purposeful disregard for your heart are the root causes of the rising number of CVDs.

According to the World Heart Federation, around 620 million individuals worldwide suffer from heart and circulation disorders, which will account for 20.5 million deaths in 2021(WHF).

According to World Health Organization figures, heart attacks and strokes account for more than four out of every five CVD deaths, with one-third of these deaths occurring in adults under the age of 70. According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, the top causes of mortality in the Philippines in 2022 will be ischemic heart disorders. Neoplasms and cerebrovascular disorders were the next two leading causes of death.

With cardiovascular disease (CVD) being the leading cause of death worldwide, the WHF continues steadfast in its mission to raise awareness and encourage healthy lifestyle choices focused toward preventive action, culminating in the annual World Heart Day (WHD) festivities.

The Philippine Heart Association (PHA), as the country's lead agency for World Heart Day celebrations, went a step further with "Use Heart to Know Heart" during the September 28, 2023 Usapang Puso sa Puso online forum. As a result of the PHA emphasizing the maximum benefits and significance of walking, the PHA WHD 2023 is sub-themed "Walk for a Healthy Heart."

Dr. Walid Amil, PHA secretary and WHD 2023 chair/UPP moderator, emphasized that "walking is the best, most sustainable form of exercise because it is accessible to almost anyone and costs nothing to do while reaping bountiful health benefits."

“One of the best simple exercises to live healthier ang walking. Madali lang gawin araw- araw at wala namang kailangan na equipment or facilities” he said.

Walking is one of the 52100 (fifty-two hundred) tenets of the PHA Healthy Lifestyle code: 5 servings of fruits and vegetables, no more than 2 grams of sodium, at least 1 hour of physical activity, no smoking, and no sugary beverages are all doable practices that anyone can fulfill on a daily basis.

Dr. Luigi Segundo, PHA Director II and UPP co-host, stated that the subject encourages everyone to focus their entire heart and soul on cardiovascular health, paying attention to the pains and changes that occur.

“Sabi nga ni ate Vi [Vilma Santos] sa isang PHA Advocacy infomercial, pakinggan niyo naman ang puso niyo.” Segundo quoted.

The PHA National and Chapters engaged the public, emphasizing that there is no better way to promote the benefits of prevention than to have a contest that pushes one's creative juices in churning out effective marketing materials as entries.

The categories of the two Chapter-wide tournaments included not only cardiac doctors, but also significant community leaders/people- the Local Government Units (LGUs). The Poster-making Contest inspired creative minds, while the Heart-Shaped Track Contest encouraged people to be active by having them walk, run, or cycle a trail in the shape of a heart. A heartbeat, as measured by a fitness app.

PHA CL, Southern Tagalog top WHD contests 

PHA Zamboanga Pen places 3rd

PHA Central Luzon bagged and Southern Tagalog region bagged the WHD Challenge

2023’s Heart-shaped Route and Poster-Making categories, respectively. PHA Zamboanga

Peninsula was named third place in the Heart-Shaped category.

Dr. Ray Cabigan, Southern Tagalog Chapter Vice President, stated, "it was a very fun and productive day; we were able to gather close to 100 lay participants even though less than 20 were from the PHA." He also stated, "a doctor-participant was injured but continued with the event on crutches."

Dr. Rayzen Canono-Lim, President of the Central Luzon Chapter, explained that they were inspired with their approach by a previous activity called "Takbo, Padyak, Indak" and because biking is a very popular form of exercise and mode of transportation.

Zamboanga Peninsula Chapter, third runner-up in the Heart-Shaped Route and represented by President Dr. Lowe Chiong, talked about how they turned stumbling blocks into stepping stones amidst packed schedules for the doctors “Everyone was so busy so we devised a strategy by breaking the shoot/recordings into three running sessions and partnering with the LGU”.

PHA President Dr. Ronald Cuyco’s short but sweet message: “regardless of one’s age, walking is still the best exercise” . Encapsulating the PHA’s WHD sentiment, he quipped “isa lang ang aming mensahe dito: Use Heart, Know Heart; galaw-galaw para sa puso.”

Enhanced awareness is only the first step in the PHA's campaign for a lower CVD burden in the country, but the organization recognizes that knowledge is useless unless it is turned into action.

Dr. Michelle Pipo, a cardiac rehabilitation specialist, delves into how walking and exercise prevent CVD and enhance overall health. She also distinguished between everyday activities and exercise, stating that the latter is structured, repeated, and deliberate, with the goal of becoming fit.

PHA ambassadors Coach Jim and wife Toni Saret

“Any activity is beneficial. We need to do these at least 30 minutes every day. And it should be combined with resistance exercises, like barbells or dumbbells. We can also use our own body; planking is an example of isometric resistance exercise.” For people that do not have the time for regular exercise, “installments” that total up to 30 minutes are better than not having any form of physical activity.

“As long as it’s within the day. What we’re advocating is that you find an exercise that fits you best based on your physical condition and circumstance” Pipo clarified.

“We are encouraging people to move. Even just 30 minutes is good, but you want to target even more than that. As for the 10,000 steps, it is the hope to reach that many. Clinical studies show that as low as 6,000 may reduce CV risks, but of course, if you can go higher then you will have additional reductions. Don’t limit yourself. The greater the exercise, the greater the risk reduction” PHA Director III and Advocacy Chair Dr. Louella Santos explained.

This year's PHA WHD sub-theme serves as a follow-up or booster shot to Sneakers Friday, a PHA program that encourages everyone to step into more comfortable shoes, especially at the workplace, to motivate capping off the week with more movement; take the stairs, walk around your neighborhood, park, livelihood area, with ease and style, and target 10,000 steps each day.

“An increased heart rate during walking and exercise improves blood flow and lowers bad cholesterol levels and cuts CV risks,” according to Amil.

Latest data from the Department of Science and Technology Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI) Expanded National Nutrition Survey (ENNS) 2021 revealed that 70.2% of Filipino adolescents aged 10 to 19 are insufficiently physically active, 40.5% among 20 to 59-year-olds, and 47.8% among the elderly aged 60 and above.

By dedicating at least one day to stop and think about the heart, the WHF and fellow CV- centric organizations all over the world aim to catalyze a stronger global advocacy movement towards curtailing CVD.

World Heart Day was first celebrated on September 24, 2000. Locally, the first WHD celebration took place in 2002, with Marikina as partner city. Since then, the PHA has been the lead agency of WHD in the Philippines and one with the WHF in championing cardiovascular health.

PHA opted to celebrate on the cusp of WHD, which is September 29, 2023.

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