Every year, approximately 20 million people in the world die due to heart diseases. However, heart diseases can be prevented. At least 80% of premature deaths due to heart disease and stroke can be prevented by controlling major risk factors such as tobacco use, unhealthy diet and lack of physical activity. In order to emphasize the importance of heart health and to create social awareness, September 24 is celebrated as World Heart Day every year.
Even with just a few small changes, you can lower people’s risk of heart disease and stroke. You can encourage them to eat healthily, move more, and avoid tobacco use. If we can ensure that our children acquire a heart-healthy lifestyle and maintain it for life, we will raise healthy generations in the future. What shall we do for this?
Unhealthy eating habits are directly linked to 4 of the 10 leading causes of death in the world. More and more people today consume processed foods that are high in sugar, salt, saturated fat or trans fat. A heart-healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables helps prevent heart disease and stroke. Make healthy foods interesting for kids. Choose colorful foods and use them while cooking. Make healthy foods interesting for kids. Review your portions; use smaller plates; Make sure that the servings of fruits and vegetables you consume are larger than meat or carbohydrate foods.
Moderate-intensity activity for 30 minutes, five times a week, reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke. Examples of moderate-intensity physical activity include:
35 minutes of brisk walking
30 minutes of cycling,
20 minutes swimming
Sports like jumping rope for 15 minutes
45-60 minutes car wash,
45-60 minutes of wiping glass or floor,
30-45 minutes of gardening,
15 minutes of climbing stairs.
Those who have a sedentary lifestyle should start with very light exercises at the beginning, and the intensity of exercise should be increased according to their own adaptation.
Quitting smoking and avoiding passive exposure to secondhand smoke reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Every year, more than 600,000 people, including children, die from second-hand smoke even though they do not use tobacco. Banning smoking in your home is very important for your family’s future. If you are having trouble quitting smoking, consult your doctor for advice. Take advantage of support services that can help you quit smoking.
Regular health checkups are just as important as these steps. Contact your physician; have your blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels, weight and body mass index (BMI) measured. Thus, your risks can be determined. We can determine our lifestyle in line with the recommendations of our physician.
Heart disease and stroke affect the elderly, men and wealthier societies more. However, cardiovascular disease affects both sexes. The number one cause of death among women is again cardiovascular diseases. It is heart disease that kills 1 in 3 women. Women need to learn the facts about their cardiovascular disease risk.
Children are also at risk! The risks of cardiovascular diseases begin in the fetal period before birth and increase gradually in the later stages of childhood as a result of unhealthy diet, inactivity and tobacco use.
We must take measures to raise healthy generations for the future. First, we must love ourselves, value ourselves, and protect ourselves from disease. Health is our first value in our life. Let’s take a good look at our hearts. We have loved ones in it. Happy World Heart Day.