World Heart Day is observed every year on September 29, with the chief objective of inculcating awareness about cardiovascular disease (CVD) among the general public across the globe. Witnessing an alarming rise in the incidence of heart disorders in people since the 1990s, the World Heart Federation (WHF), in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), decided to dedicate a day to focus on heart-related concerns.
The first World Heart Day event was held on September 24, 2000, with the celebrations being conducted on the last Sunday of September until the year 2011. From 2012, September 29 was earmarked by the WHF and WHO, as World Heart Day. Conveying relevant information about the risks and dangers of cardiac ailments, to the mass population, by means of posters, online campaigns and speech conferences by healthcare professionals, forms a major part of this important health day. Moreover, numerous health walks, short and marathon runs, as well as free medical check-ups are organized, to actively engage and encourage the residents of every community and country at large, to take care of their hearts.
According to recent statistics presented by the WHF and WHO, CVD is the planet’s number one killer, accounting for almost half of the deaths annually, triggered by non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Comprising, among other illnesses, heart disease and stroke, CVD claims 17.9 million lives every year. The heart is a vital organ in the human body, responsible for carrying nutrients, oxygen to other tissues, by pumping blood from its muscles and filtering out carbon dioxide, wastes. Also, being prone to damage, decline, the heart certainly requires constant monitoring and optimal preservation of its functions. Also Read: World Stroke Day: 5 Myths And Facts About Stroke
Currently in its 21st year of spreading awareness about heart health, the theme of World Heart Day 2020 is “Use Heart To Beat Cardiovascular Disease”. While nations worldwide are still battling the perilous COVID-19, the more worrisome aspect is that the highly infectious coronavirus poses an increased threat to those with CVD. Hence, the theme stresses on every individual to be aware of the hazards of COVID-19 toward the wellbeing of the heart. It urges the general public to use their head, influence and compassion, to help themselves, their loved ones and society, safeguard their heart processes and seek timely professional medical treatment to rectify cardiac ailments. Thus, this aids in averting the chances of acquiring the deadly coronavirus infection.
Some simple and effective measures go a long way, in protecting the heart from being afflicted by CVD and COVID-19, thereby vastly improving overall health and quality of life in later years. Read on, to gain insight into some valuable guidelines for a healthy, happy heart.
Holistic Lifestyle Practices To Ensure Heart Wellness:
Check Blood Pressure
High blood pressure invariably elevates the risk of CVD, in turn predisposing the individual to contract COVID-19. Regularly analysing blood pressure levels is advised by medical experts for every single person – once a year for normal, healthy adults and more frequently for those with underlying health conditions like diabetes. Also Read: Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment
Control Cholesterol Levels
Excess quantities of bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides can obstruct the arteries – blood vessels in the heart, prompting grave situations of CVD, heart attacks and even prove to be fatal. Eating wholesome, nutritious foods, performing exercise routines daily and assessing blood cholesterol concentrations in routine health checks are all necessary to keep heart disease at bay.
Maintain Body Weight
Being overweight or obese heightens the possibility of developing various chronic diseases like CVD, diabetes, dementia, hypertension, respiratory illnesses, liver malfunctions and kidney failure. Losing surplus fat and sustaining a healthy weight, body mass index (BMI), through nourishing, balanced DASH diets, regular physical workouts, proper sleep patterns, are all key to upholding cardiac operations in the system.
Lower Mental Stress
Hectic work schedules and challenging personal circumstances cause great amounts of mental stress, tension, nervousness, anger and other negative emotions. This not only results in anxiety, depression, poor memory, concentration, but also instigates sudden heart attacks and sharp spikes in blood pressure, much above the normal, healthy range. Yoga, listening to music, meditation is all beneficial, to augment heart health.
Quit Bad Habits
Smoking tobacco and consuming alcohol significantly impair lung and liver operations, besides increasing blood pressure and making the individual more inclined to CVD and COVID-19 infection. Steering clear of these unhealthy addictions is recommended by doctors worldwide, as one of the best ways to lower the probability of contracting serious health anomalies and guarantee enhanced heart wellbeing.