World Heart Day 2015 takes place today and it is a chance for people across the globe to take part in the world’s biggest intervention against cardiovascular disease (CVD). The initiative, promoted by the World Heart Federation, offers some thoughts and actions to prevent heart disease and stroke, creating healthy heart environments.

Cardiovascular disease takes lives prematurely. Contrary to common belief, women are affected equally to men and children are vulnerable too. CVD causes 17.3 million deaths annually and is expected to increase to 23 million by 2030. As a point of reference, Malaria, HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis added together 3.8 million deaths a year.

How to prevent heart disease and stroke?

Most deaths caused by cardiovascular disease are preventable. World Heart Day encourages us all to reduce our cardiovascular risk, and promotes a heart-healthy planet for those around us. Together we can prevent heart disease and stroke making healthy changes: eating healthily, being active and stopping smoking.

World Heart Federation puts the spotlight on your home, workplaces, schools and hospitals to make their environments places where people can make healthy heart choices. Making even just a few changes can help reduce your own and your family’s risk of heart disease and stroke.

Physical activity to prevent cardiovascular disease

  • be active, organizing outdoor activities
  • limit time spent watching TV or playing computer games to no more than 2 hours a day
  • do regular physical activity. It’s never too late to start!
  • play an outdoor game with the children
  • sign up for dance classes
  • practise a new sport
  • take the stairs and encourage others to do so
  • do household chores
  • cycle or walk to work or get off the bus a stop or two early
  • encourage friends and workmates to use pedometers or a smartphone app to track steps and even hold walking competitions
  • encourage your children to be active

Heart-healthy diet to prevent cardiovascular disease

  • take a balanced diet rich in fruit and vegetables
  • avoid diets high in saturated and trans fat, sugar and salt
  • reduce the portion size of less healthy food and increasing the portion size of healthy food
  • prepare healthy school or work lunches at home
  • urge schools, workplaces, hospitals and clinics to offer healthy and affordable food

Healthy habits to prevent cardiovascular disease

  • stopping smoking will not only improve your health but also your children’s health
  • demand a smoking ban in your workplaces, ensuring that your co-workers comply with it
  • avoid alcohol and drugs
  • make excursions to parks outside the city to breathe clean air
  • maintain a healthy weight
  • follow healthy habits is also a great way to be a positive role model for children
  • stand up while you’re on the phone
  • reduce stress
  • take time for lunch away from work to get some fresh air and gentle exercise

prevent heart disease and stroke

 

Remember regularly visit a health professional who can measure your blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels, weight and body mass index, and advise on your risk in order to make a specific plan to improve your heart health.

IMED Hospitals in Spain would like to encourage you to make healthy heart choices in order to prevent cardiovascular disease. Act now to prevent the hearts of those you love.