Today is September 29 which means it’s #WorldHeartDay, a chance to raise awareness about Cardiovascular disease (CVD).

CVD, which includes any disease of the heart, vascular disease of the brain, or disease of the blood vessel such as strokes and heart attack, kills over 17.3 million people every year!!!

There are many risk factors associated with CVD. Some of them, e.g., family history, cannot be controlled while others, like high blood pressure, can be prevented.

Although we now know a lot about how to prevent CVD, it’s not easy for everyone to follow scientists’ and doctors’ recommendations. This is why, this year, the #WorldHeartDay campaign focuses on creating heart-healthy environments that will enable people make healthy heart choices, wherever they live, work and play.

If you’d like to learn more about CVD, the campaign and the worldwide activities, please click the links below.

Meanwhile, here’s how you can protect your heart:

  • Be physically active. 30 minutes of activity a day can help prevent heart attack and stroke. Try to make exercise a daily habit. It will help you relieve stress and lose weight, which are risk factors of many chronic diseases. How to get active? You don’t need to run 10 miles, or lift heavy weight at the gym. Spend time outdoor with your children, play with them at the park, have fun with your friends dancing, go for a bike ride, even go to work with your bike or walk, or, if you use public transports, get off one or two stops early and walk the rest. Taking the stairs and doing household chores count as well!
  • Say No to Tobacco. After you stop smoking, your risk of CVD will be halved within one year and will return to normal levels over time. And don’t forget that second-hand smoke is dangerous too. So try to avoid smoke-filled environments.
  • Eat a heart-healthy diet. Nutrition plays an important role in prevention of CVD. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, consume whole-grain cereals, nuts, seeds, use extra virgin olive oil as main fat, reduce salt consumption (processed foods contain a lot of salt), prefer spices. Moderate the consumption of saturated fats (meats, fish, eggs, dairy), limit consumption of added sugars (e.g., in fruit juices and sodas). Drink water and drink alcohol in moderation.
  • Maintain a healthy body weight. Being overweight or obese increases the risk of CVD. Control your body weight by eating healthy food, reducing portion sizes, and staying active.
  • Enjoy life. Yes, that’s correct. Try to spend time your family and friends, get adequate rest, smile more, and stress less!

Happy #WorldHeartDay everyone!!

Image result for heart

For more info:



Published by Piera Forestieri

Health and Nutrition Advocate, Consultant, and Educator

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