"Rest a While, Run a Mile"; on this Heart Day to motivate yourself to be active. Try to make simple healthy lifestyle choices such as exercising regularly, using stairs instead of elevators, abstaining from tobacco and alcohol. "Exercise should be regarded as tribute to the heart." - Gene Tunney29th of September has been marked as the "World Heart Day" to focus on Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) which is said to be the world's number one killer. Around 17.3 million deaths occur due to CVD and this is expected to rise to 23 million by 2030. The key risk factors are unhealthy diet, sedentary lifestyle, tobacco use, and blood pressure; controlling these factors usually reduces the risk of CVD. Though CVD affects individually, environmental factors contribute to its occurrence. Polluted environments, unhealthy produce, easy availability of tobacco-related products etc., act as barriers that restrict us from making healthy lifestyle choices. It only takes little steps to stay healthy and it starts from places where you live, work and play. The main barriers that stop individuals from making heart healthy choices include: Lack of balanced meals, poor hygiene at schools and offices.Easy exposure to second-hand smoke, polluted environments, tobacco and alcoholLack of good green parks and gardens to walk or exerciseLack of motivation to cycle or jog with friends or in a group Maintaining healthy environments motivates you to be healthy. On this heart day focus on making changes at your home, office and parks or playgrounds where your children play. Heart Healthy Choices At your Home Fresh Produce Buy fresh green vegetables and include it in your everyday dietAvoid sugary foods and munch on nuts, pumpkin seeds insteadEat atleast two different fresh fruits dailyInclude spinach and pack healthy lunches for your childrenStock on calcium-rich foods such as milk, yogurtRestrict your family from consuming chips, soda, processed foods Keep CVD risk factors at bay Avoid smoking, alcohol consumption at home Be exemplary to your children by restricting such activities at homeTeach your children about ill-effects of tobacco-related products and also about the diseases associated with it. Regular Health Check-ups Make sure all your family members visit the family doctor atleast once in a month for master health check-up.Keep a record of your family members' weight, blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Educate Yourself on CVD Learn about symptoms of cardiac arrest, stroke and other heart diseasesEducate your family about first-aid measures on heart attacks and what to do if any of your family members experience the same.Talk to your family doctor and know about treatment and prevention methods of cardiovascular diseases.80% of CVD occurs at home, so beware about its risk factors and treatment strategies. Heart healthy choices at your workplace Healthy diet Make sure you eat fresh and fully cooked meals at workPack healthy lunches from home and avoid outside foods Exercise at work Stop sitting for long hours, take a stroll on the corridor for every 2-3 hoursUse the staircase instead of elevatorsForm a group at your workplace to engage in activities such as jogging, cycling etc.Motivate your colleagues to work out dailyFollow routine working hours to keep your body stable De-stress Avoid stress as it plays a very important role in CVDManage your time while completing tasks and avoid postponing your workDon't work late nights. Have a good night's sleep of about 8 hours. Avoid smoking Ensure your colleagues stay away from cigarettes at officeHelp addicts to quit by organizing smoking intervention programs at officeBan smoking in and around workplaces including parks or in canteens to prevent exposure to second-hand smoking Heart healthy choices at places you play Children need time and freedom to play. It's not a luxury but a necessity. In today's world, children play virtually, not physically. Cholesterol and fat majorly contribute to heart attacks and other heart diseases. Therefore ensure you add physical activity in your day-to-day lifestyle. Be on the move Motivate yourself to be active.Regular brisk 15-mins walk daily can keep you healthyDitch the bikes and walk to your grocery store or shopping mallParticipate in marathons and cyclathons Hit the treadmill while watching T.VDo yoga to keep your body flexible It's never too late to start! So, on this world heart day, make all these heart healthy choices to keep CVD at bay. 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