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World Heart Day

Updated on September 26, 2014

A Video about Heart Day 2014

What is World Heart Day?

World Heart Day is an initiative or drive that encourages each of us to pause and take a moment to look around at our surroundings and assess whether or not the environment we function in is "heart-healthy." What can we do to take better care of our hearts?

In our busy lives or lack there of in some respects, we sometimes forget to take care of our hearts. Any working adult could probably list five reasons why they don't have time to exercise. Our bodies and especially our hearts are at significant risk without regular exercise or fitness activities.

Here are a few statistics to consider as it relates to cardiovascular disease (CVD):

  • CVD is the number one killer around the world
  • 17.3 million people die every year

World Heart Day Environmental Considerations

World Heart Day suggests that we examine three environmental areas that may impact our risk for CVD:

  • Our Homes
  • Our Community
  • Our Country

Our Homes

For the most part, your home can be your safe haven if all things are planned well.

However, it can also be a danger zone if one is not careful. The World Heart Federation recommends that you focus on the following methods to reduce the risk of heart disease for you and your family.

Keep your home well-stocked with healthy foods so that you are able to make healthy food choices.

What does that really mean? Consider the following:

  • Try to avoid or limit the amount of processed foods in your home as they are often rich with sodium and sugars
  • Include or increase the amount of fresh fruit and vegetables consumed during meals and snacks
  • Consider preparing health lunches for your children at school or yourself for work

Ban Smoking in Your home!

If you are a smoker, consider getting help to stop smoking. If you are not a smoker but have friends and/or family who smoke, ask them not to smoke in your home. Of course this is easier said than done in some instances when the smoker in the home is a spouse but it is doable. Not smoking in the home helps to improve the health of you and your children.

Get Active

Becoming active, if it isn't something you previously have been doing can be a great challenge. Consider taking baby steps. This may mean slowly developing a workout regimen over an extended period of time. For example, perhaps you walk on a treadmill for five minutes per day over a week. The following week, you might increase your time on the treadmill to ten minutes. The intent here is to get you up and moving and away from the television for a few hours.

Find out What Your Health Risk is for CVD

In order to truly know what your risk is for CVD, you will have to visit your doctor. By visiting your doctor, you can get a full work up as it relates to your health. He/she can take a look at your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, blood sugar levels to rule out diabetes as well as your weight. If they find anything that is abnormal, he/she can advise you on next steps to manage and treat identified conditions. An annual physical is an excellent way to be proactive in managing your health rather than going to the doctor only after you develop symptoms that signify poor health.

Our Community

Do you have influence in your community or know someone who does? Our communities are a great place to start with getting heart healthy. You can take a jog through your neighborhood, go for long walks and play outside with your children. In order for any of these things to be possible, there are a few recommended actions that one may need to take which includes:

  • Creating safe neighborhoods through crime safety groups and/or local law enforcement
  • Advocating for nutritious foods in the school system and/or workplace
  • Promoting physical activity in the school system and/or workplace

Our Country

Yes, our country. There are actions that many people in America have already taken to help change the way our food and drinks are being grown and/or processed in this country as well as how the public is kept informed about what it is they are consuming.

Consider this, McDonalds has added the caloric count to its menus in its fast food restaurants. Soda companies are now reviewing what they might do to alter their signature recipes in an effort to reduce the amount of sugar in each drink.

You can influence change in this country, particularly since we as a country are dealing with expanding waist lines and a health crises as it relates to obesity.

Your local state representatives and congressman have the unique ability push forth change but it will require the voice of many in order for that change to be initiated and executed in the appropriate manner. They are the policymakers and have the wonderful ability to enact change and regulation as needed.

© 2014 Mahogany Speaks


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