World Heart Day – how to stay healthy

This Friday is World Heart Day.

Did you that cardiovascular disease or CVD (which includes heart disease and stroke) is the world’s largest killer with over 17. 5 million deaths worldwide per year? Sadly this figure is expected to rise.

The good news is that research shows that taking active steps can significantly improve heart health and reduce the risk of cardiac disease or related events such as heart attacks or strokes.

From a women’s health perspective I  found this latest infographic produced by the World Heart Federation fascinating.

The perception that heart disease largely affects overweight men is a myth.

Did you know 1 in 3 women are affected and now 1 in 10 school age children are obese which is a high predictor of heart disease in adulthood? On a positive note it states that stopping smoking for 15 years reduces the risk of heart disease to the same level of a non smoker, so the good news is changes can be reversed.

The key messages are that lifestyle changes, such as improving diet to include more fresh fruit and vegetables and less saturated fats and sugar, reducing alcohol consumption, reducing tobacco use, improving physical activity and taking steps to manage stress can all have positive effects on the heart.

In terms of exercise, it is vital to understand that this does not need to be “run around and get sweaty” exercise – you can simply start with walking more! For those of us living in south west London, we are spoilt for choice for beautiful parks to walk in.

So Happy World  Heart Day and take a look at the website for more information and healthy heart tips.

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