Celebrated on the 27th of September, World Heart Day aims to raise awareness of the importance of heart health and bring attention to the world’s number one killer, cardiovascular disease. The World Heart Federation established the awareness day in 2000 as the importance of bringing attention to the dangers of cardiovascular disease, and living a heart-healthy life, became increasingly important to modern lifestyles.
Almost 18 million people die every year from cardiovascular disease; more people than HIV, cancer and malaria combined. By raising awareness of the dangers of cardiovascular disease, helping people to understand the importance of heart health, and educating the public on ways to help avoid heart disease through change, World Heart Day is an important day to mark in the calendar for everyone.
For World Heart Day 2019, the theme is ‘Heart Heroes’. By providing pledges, information, and education resources, the World Heart Federation wants to promote and build a community of Heart Heroes. These are people who want to create a world where people can live longer, better, and healthier lives by taking care of their hearts. With a variety of pledge options for people to choose from, including families, healthcare professionals, government and policy officials, and employers, the World Heart Federation is providing ways for everyone to get involved.
There are plenty of ways to celebrate and embrace World Heart Day. Exercise, especially a sponsored activity such as a walk, run, or bike ride, is a great way to raise awareness of World Heart Day while also keeping your own heart healthy. Promote heart healthy foods, like fresh vegetables, fibre-rich foods, oily fish, and dark chocolate through a pot-luck or bake sale to help raise donations and educate others on how diet changes can help your heart.
If you’re a healthcare professional, why not let patients know that World Heart Day is a great chance to find out about ways to stop smoking, reduce cholesterol, lose weight and lower blood pressure – all of which can help improve heart health and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.