Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) remain the world’s leading cause of death, accounting for about one in every three 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.
This is why it is crucial to look after and maintain heart health. Show your heart extra love and attention with these easy-to-remember practices you can add to your everyday routine:
In a recent webinar by the Philippine Heart Association, heart doctors encouraged Filipinos to follow the 5-2-1-0-0 regimen. 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 one 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
If you’re working or studying from home, it’s likely that you’re glued to your seat for eight hours or more a day. As such, it is crucial to allot time to stretch and move around. Heart experts recommend getting at least one hour of exercise or physical activity per day to strengthen the heart.
An entire hour dedicated to just exercise may sound daunting, but there is a workaround: This one 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 engaging in actual exercises or workouts even at home.
Say no to smoking
According to the Department of Health (DoH), 15.5% 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 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 that 25.8% of adult Filipinos were diagnosed as hypertensive and 54.5% 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. It’s also easier to get them as they’re available at leading pharmacies and drugstores or online via OMRON’s flagship e-commerce stores (Lazada, Shopee).