The heart is one of the crucial organs of the body and its well-being matters the most. Keeping in mind the importance of the organ and the lack of awareness surrounding it, the World Heart Federation established World Heart Day, which is observed every year on September 29th. Its goal was to educate people all across the world about cardiovascular disease (CVD). It’s a global campaign through which the federation brings people together in the fight against CVD and inspires and motivates international action to promote heart-healthy living.
What are CVDs?
Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are disorders of the heart and blood vessels that include coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, rheumatic heart disease, and other conditions. Heart attacks and strokes account for more than four out of every five CVD deaths. Considering the risks of the same, it is important to keep knowledge and educate others regarding the same.
World Heart Day Theme: Use Heart to Connect
Every year a specific theme is announced to throw the light on and this year’s theme is Use Heart to Connect. Our goal for World Heart Day 2021 is to use the power of digital health to promote worldwide awareness, prevention, and management of CVD and continue to use the heart to beat CVD. Using your knowledge, compassion, and influence to ensure that you, your loved ones, and the communities you live in have the best opportunity of living heart-healthy lives is the goal of Use Heart to Connect. It’s about connecting with our hearts, ensuring that we’re feeding and nourishing them as best we can, and leveraging the power of technology to link every heart, everywhere.
History of the Day
World Heart Day was first commemorated in 1999, following a collaboration between the World Heart Federation and the World Health Organization. Antoni Baye de Luna, the former president of the World Health Federation, came up with the idea for the day. The day was observed on the last Sunday of September until 2011. However, when world leaders pledged in 2012 to reduce global mortality from noncommunicable illnesses by 25% by 2025, the day has become an annual event on September 29.
On the occasion of World Heart Day, let’s bust some common myths around heart diseases.
Myth 1: Heart disease is not a concern for young people. People above the age of 50 are at risk for heart disease.
Fact: Age does not necessarily mean that young adults are not at risk of heart diseases. Plaque can begin to build up in the arteries as early as childhood and adolescence, eventually leading to clogged arteries. Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus are two variables that can lead to heart disease in young and middle-aged adults.
Myth 2: Young people can eat as much junk food as they want and don’t need to exercise as they are already fit.
Fact: Young adults are at risk from unhealthy foods and an inactive lifestyle. Young people should be aware that how they live today will have a significant impact on their risk of cardiovascular disease later in life.
Myth 3: Having diabetes under control means it cannot affect my heart.
Fact: The risk can be reduced by regular medication but cannot be completely nullified. The simple reason for this is that the risk factors that contribute to diabetes also increase the risk of heart disease. High blood pressure, overweight and obesity, physical inactivity, and smoking are all common risk factors.
Myth 4: Only middle-aged people need to get their cholesterol level checked.
Fact: Starting at the age of 20, and even younger if you have a family history of the condition, it is suggested that you have your cholesterol examined every 5 years. High cholesterol levels in these families’ children can put them at risk for getting heart disease as adults.
Myth 5: Because heart illness runs in my family and we have a long family history of cardiac problems, I can’t do anything to protect myself from it.
Fact: Even if a person has a notable family history of cardiovascular diseases, an active lifestyle, controlled cholesterol, managed blood pressure, properly regulated blood sugar, stopping smoking, and maintaining a healthy weight are some of the variables that can help a person avoid heart disease.
How to Observe the Day:
1. Designate the day for a checkup
Start your journey of taking care of your heart this world day by getting a checkup. You can find many World Heart day events that’ll be providing free health checkups.
2. Get your heart rate up with fitness events
Maintaining a healthy weight and a low Body Mass Index (BMI) can help reduce the risk of heart disease. Make being active a priority, whether you go to the gym or a fitness class, or want to participate in a World Heart Day event.
3. Schedule and attend life-changing seminars
Because most cardiac emergencies happen near someone who can help, enrolling in a CPR class and knowing how to resuscitate a person could save lives. Cooking demos, health talks, and exercise classes are all good ideas for World Heart Day celebrations.
How to Take Care of Your Heart Health
- Eat a diet that is good for your heart, including proteins, carbohydrates. Vitamins, etc.
- If you’re overweight, you should shed weight.
- Increase your weekly physical activity time to at least 2.5 hours.
- Avoid using cigarettes and other things containing tobacco
- Avoid consuming alcoholic beverages.
- Have your blood pressure and sugar levels monitored regularly.