September 29, 2014 (Scottsdale, AZ)
With September 29th being World Heart Day, the World Heart Federation encourages everyone to learn more about fighting cardiovascular disease (CVD). CVD is the world’s number one killer, causing 17.3 million deaths every year. Furthermore, studies show that 80% of these CVD related deaths may have been avoided by controlling the four main risk factors:
- Tobacco use
- Unhealthy diet
- Lack of physical activity
- Harmful use of alcohol
The World Heart Federation has some tips to help you avoid the risk factors where you live, work and play:
Changes at home -
Small changes can go a long way. According to the World Heart Federation, food companies are adding excessive sugar, salt and saturated fat to food that are causing strokes and heart attacks. When shopping for groceries, look at labels. Instead of buying pre-packaged foods, stock your home with fresh, organic fruits and vegetables. Making lunches for work and school at home, instead of going to a restaurant or buying fast food can be a much healthier option.
Quitting smoking, especially around others, is a great benefit to the heart. Smoking affects blood flow and circulation, heart rate, and many other heart related conditions. Not only is the smoker affected, but so are those around the smoke.
Exercising is another way to help strengthen the heart. Working the heart muscle and keeping it active are keys to living a long and healthy life.
It’s important to take the time every year to visit the doctor for a checkup. Get a baseline reading for cholesterol, blood pressure, glucose levels, weight and body mass index. Knowing this information can help the doctor determine what needs to be done to keep patients CVD free or treat any preexisting conditions.
Changes in your community -
Everyone can help to create changes in the community. Get involved by reporting smoking areas that are too close to schools or business entrances. Help make sure schools are serving healthy lunches to the students and that play-grounds and parks are being maintained, so that people have a safe place to play and exercise. Encourage co-workers to exercise, walk or bike to work. Tell friends and loved ones of the harmful effects of smoking on the heart.
Take this day to spread the word and make some small changes to avoid cardiovascular disease.