World Heart Day: Aim & Celebrations

World Heart Day on September 29, 2018, aims to educate people around the world that heart attacks and strokes are the leading causes of death, with more than 17 million people dying each year worldwide. About 80% of these deaths could be prevented by a healthy lifestyle, according to the World Heart Federation. On World Heart Day, therefore, all people are called upon to take care of their health. World Heart Day was launched in 2000. Until 2010, it always took place on the last Sunday in September, since 2011 there is a fixed date with the 29th of September.

Age-independent major risk factors for coronary heart disease include nicotine use, diabetes, hypertension, familial stress (early-onset cardiovascular diseases such as infarction or stroke in close blood relatives) and inherited or acquired disorders of lipid metabolism. Some of these risk factors increase in overweight, malnutrition, and lack of exercise. Even with excessive alcohol consumption, the risk of heart attacks and other serious illnesses increases.

Smoking is one of the most important risk factors for a heart attack. By smoking cessation, the risk can be reduced by up to 50%. The effect of a targeted diet change goes beyond just lowering the cholesterol level. The benchmark should be the so-called Mediterranean diet, which is characterized by high-calorie, high-fiber, and low-fat food and is also rich in unsaturated and omega-3 fatty acids.

Triggering factors for an infarct may also be sudden stress and stress situations with severe blood pressure fluctuations. 40% of all infarctions occur in the early morning hours between 6 and 10 o’clock. Infarcts occur more frequently on Mondays than on other days of the week, and surprisingly also for retirees after the age of 60.

5 tips for your heart health

1. Avoid stress!

when and wherever possible! Mental tension causes numerous effects in the body – including the cardiovascular system. The organism releases stress hormones that, among other things, narrow the vessels and damage the vessel walls. In particular, people who already have high blood pressure or vascular calcification should, as far as possible, avoid high levels of stress, so as not to increase the risk of a heart attack. In the short term, relaxation exercises help to reduce stress levels, eg targeted breathing or a walk in the fresh air. In the long-term, mental health strategies help to prevent stress, even if this initially seems to require more effort in the first step.

2. Eat your daily requirements accordingly!

The coffee comes at the push of a button, the car drives us into the office, the light switch presses Alexa and Co … Many activities for which we used to put a lot of energy in are doing equipment for us today. Our daily calorie intake is much lower for most people than we actually eat. To prevent weight gain, we should review our eating habits and decide where to save calories.

3. Orient yourself to the Mediterranean diet!

In addition to the number of calories, but it depends on the type of food. In studies proves to be particularly favorable again and again, the so-called Mediterranean diet. The Mediterranean diet has a high proportion of plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds, as well as fish and seafood instead of lots of meat. In addition, the preparation with olive oil as the main source of fats. Such a diet is rich in healthy nutrients and limits energy intake.

4. Exercise- daily!

Humans are genetically programmed to forage and starve, as they did in the Stone Age. Since the energy needed to search for food is minimal these days, modern man has to exercise sports such as cross-country skiing, cycling, strength training. The positive effect: The energy consumption in the muscle cells decreases the blood sugar level, the increased heart work lowers the pulse and the pressure in the blood vessels. Sport prevents the development of hypertension due to arteriosclerosis and vascular stiffness. At the same time, concentration and thinking skills are improved. Walking also helps with health: 10,000 recommendations per day is the WHO recommendation.

5. Smoking, alcohol – poison for the heart!

Even small amounts of nicotine or alcohol have a negative effect on heart health. Just one cigarette a day increases the risk of heart disease and stroke significantly, according to a new study in the British Medical Journal. Compared with heavy smokers who consume twenty cigarettes a day, the risk of so-called pleasure smokers is therefore just barely halved. The same applies to the consumption of alcohol: Even small amounts are harmful to health as a whole, according to a recent study by an international research team. From a quantity of 100 grams per week (about 5 glasses of wine or 2.5 liters of beer) increases the risk of death in both men and women. Since the consumption in Germany is on average about 165 grams of alcohol per week.   

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