Simple steps to keep your heart healthy year-round

    LifestyleWellnessSimple steps to keep your heart healthy year-round

    Looking after and maintaining heart health should not be limited to February. It is important to show our hearts extra love and attention even beyond the heart month. This is especially important as cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) remain the world’s leading cause of death, accounting for about 1 in every 3 deaths globally. In the Philippines, the incidence of deaths caused by hypertension and diabetes mellitus, both of which can lead to heart diseases, rose in 2021. 

    Here are easy-to-remember steps you can add to your everyday routine to keep your heart healthy and happy year-round.

    Eat healthy

    In a recent webinar by the Philippine Heart Association, heart doctors encouraged Filipinos to follow the 5-2-1-0-0 regimen to maintain heart health. What this means is that the daily diet should have at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables, only 2g (or one teaspoon) of salt, and 0 sugary drinks. Aside from this, the regimen also advises at least 1 hour of daily physical activity and zero smoking.

    Additional healthy alternatives for guilt-free eating include:

    • Choosing natural seasoners such as calamansi instead of high-sodium condiments like soy sauce, fish sauce or ketchup
    • Having fresh fruits instead of sweetened snacks such as cakes and cookies for dessert 
    • Drinking more water and less artificially sweetened beverages 

    Move more

    Working or studying from home means being glued to one’s seat for 8 hours or even more a day unlike when commuting to work or school which requires some walking or even running at times. As such, it is crucial to allot some time to stretch and move around. As mentioned, heart experts also recommend getting at least 1 hour of exercise or physical activity per day to strengthen the heart, and improve heart health.

    heart health

    An entire hour dedicated to just exercise may sound daunting, but there is a workaround: This 1 hour can be spread throughout the day. Small amounts of moderate physical activity that increase the heart rate such as brisk walking, climbing stairs, gardening, or doing household chores are already a good start. Gradually increase the duration, frequency, and intensity of these activities to maybe engage in actual exercises or workouts even at home. 

    Say no to smoking

    According to the Department of Health (DoH), 15.5 percent of Filipino adults are tobacco smokers and approximately 1 in 10 Filipino adult men smoke tobacco on a daily basis. These statistics are alarming as tobacco use and exposure to second-hand smoke are common heart killers. 

    Quitting smoking can reduce the risk of CVDs. In fact, within a year of quitting, the risk for a heart attack drops dramatically. Within five years, reformed smokers are about as likely to experience a stroke as a person who has never smoked. So, quitting or not smoking at all is a big gift of health that you can give your heart.

    Monitor your blood pressure 

    Hypertension is one of the biggest risk factors for various cardiovascular diseases, including stroke, coronary artery disease, and heart failure. Data from the DoH reveal 25.8 percent of adult Filipinos were diagnosed as hypertensive and 54.5 percent are currently on medications to control their hypertension.

    Hypertensive or not, listen to your heart. One of the best ways to do this is to make it a habit to monitor your blood pressure. Products such as OMRON’s line of digital blood pressure monitors (BPM) have made this easier than ever and from the comforts of home.

    OMRON’s digital BPMs are equipped with the latest technology to make heart health monitoring as intuitive as possible. They are also easily accessible through the most trusted local pharmacies and drugstores or online via OMRON’s flagship e-commerce stores.

    heart health

    So, whether it be the love month or any other day of the year, always show your heart some love. You can start with these simple reminders. 

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