World Heart Day is a yearly global initiative to prevent and control cardiovascular disease (CVD).

While all diseases of the heart and blood vessels fall under the term CVD, coronary heart disease and stroke are the two most common forms. Claiming 31% of all deaths, CVD is the world’s leading killer, often caused by factors such as:

  • High blood cholesterol 
  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Lack of exercise
  • Being overweight
  • Depression
  • Excessive alcohol intake

All of these contribute to the process of atherosclerosis, which is the blockage of blood vessels due to fatty deposits building up and causing CVD.

What can you to do protect your heart?

You don’t need to make large or drastic changes to make a difference. The World Heart Federation encourages individuals to make small changes now to promote heart-healthy living for your future.

Exercise

  • Take a walk over your lunch break
  • Pause that Netflix marathon and get some fresh air
  • Grab a fitness buddy for motivation
  • Download a fitness app such as C25K or Zombies, Run!

Eat heart-healthy foods

Reduce or eliminate stress

Breathe freely

 

Resources:

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Harvard Health Publishing
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
World Heart Federation

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