The World Heart Day, celebrated on September 29, 2013, focuses on women and children and how certain steps taken right from childhood can reduce the chances of cardiovascular disease especially in this population.
Heart disease was once considered a disease of older men. Young women do have some immunity against certain heart diseases due to the protective effect of the hormone estrogen, but current lifestyles would probably give estrogen a tough time to maintain good cardiac health. In fact, heart disease is responsible for every one in three deaths in women. Lifestyle changes will not only benefit the women; their children would also probably get influenced as well to lead a heart-healthy life.
AdvertisementThe cases of heart attacks and similar heart diseases may yet be few in children. However, if children are encouraged to adopt healthy lifestyles, the habit is likely to remain with them throughout their lives and will lead to a healthy heart in adulthood.
Heart attacks and strokes cause significant number of disabilities and deaths the world over. Thus, one should not wait till the age of 30 or 40 plus to adopt healthy changes. It is necessary to take steps early to prevent even the initial adverse changes taking place in the body. Here are some of the things that young people can be encouraged to do to keep their heart healthy:
Be physically active: Children of today spend a lot of time in front of the television and fail to run about outdoors. This leads to obesity, which is spreading among kids like wildfire. A simple, brisk walk for at least 30 minutes for most days of the week can keep your heart happy and healthy.
Eat a healthy diet: A quick-fix meal consisting of junk food is the easy way out, it's true. Unfortunately, junk food is not good for the heart, or any part of the body for that matter. Food should consist of a balanced diet complete with fresh fruits and green leafy vegetables. The intake of oil especially saturated fats should be controlled. Salt increases blood pressure and therefore its intake should not be excessive.
Give up smoking: Besides the temporary good feeling, smoking is not associated with anything beneficial. However, the list of the health problems it can cause can go on and on. Quit smoking to prevent further damage to your heart.
These simple yet much ignored steps can protect not only against heart disease but against a number of associated conditions including obesity and diabetes. It's time to think about what lifestyle changes you need to do to take care of your heart and put your thoughts into action - and what better day would it be to start that the World Heart Day!