As the world battles the COVID-19 pandemic, another silent killer remains a leading cause of death globally – cardiovascular diseases. In fact, it accounts for 1 in every 3 deaths worldwide, making it one of the biggest health threats we face today. In the Philippines, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) has reported that ischemic heart disease is the top cause of death in 2021, comprising 17.9 percent of total deaths.
This February, we not only celebrate Valentine’s Day, but also Philippine Heart Month, which aims to raise awareness and promote cardiovascular health and wellness. Protecting our hearts against potential heartbreaks and ailments is essential, as the heart is the hardest working muscle in our body and can still become fragile if not taken care of.
Preventing heart diseases starts with maintaining a healthy lifestyle. One of the most important ways to do this is through a healthy diet. Incorporating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts into your meals can help reduce the risk of heart diseases. On the other hand, it’s important to avoid processed, canned, and fast foods. If you’re a fan of salty meats, try seasoning them with Calamansi juice and vinegar instead.
Losing weight is also essential to prevent heart diseases. Once you’ve achieved the right body mass index (BMI), maintaining it is crucial to keep your heart healthy. Obesity is one of the most common risk factors for heart disease.
Regular exercise is also crucial in maintaining a healthy heart. If maintaining a healthy diet proves to be more challenging than expected, increasing your mundane physical activities to 2.5 hours per week is enough. This can be as simple as walking your dog more often, brisk walking to the store, choosing stairs over elevators or escalators, dancing to your favorite song, or doing household chores.
In addition to these lifestyle changes, it’s important to avoid risk factors such as smoking tobacco and excessively drinking alcohol. These habits have been linked to heart disease and other health problems. Second-hand smoking and e-cigarettes are also harmful to the heart.
Regular check-ups with your doctor are crucial to maintain heart health. The Watsons Health Hub provides tips to maintain the right levels of cholesterol and blood pressure, and promote heart function. Daily supplements can be a good addition to your heart-healthy lifestyle. For example, fiber decreases the amount of cholesterol your body gets from food, Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) helps lower blood pressure, and fish oil is full of omega-3 fatty acids that cut down up to 30% of triglycerides, an unhealthy fat in your blood. Watsons has over 1,000 stores nationwide that offer over-the-counter and prescription medication as well as expert care through in-store pharmacists, specialists, and staff. You can also conveniently shop online via the Watsons app available for iOS and Android.
While these tips may help you keep your heart healthy, it’s important to consult an expert if heart disease runs in your family. Watsons resident cardiologist Dr. Tony Leachon recommends setting an appointment with your doctor to learn about your risks and how you can manage them. If you’re experiencing chest pain or discomfort, shortness of breath, sweating, unusual tiredness, sudden dizziness, nausea or vomiting, or cold sweat, inform your doctor right away.
As the leading health and beauty chain in Asia, Watsons strives to ensure that its customers get the best value for their money through monthly promotions, special offers, and continuous consumer marketing programs. With more than 1,000 brands ranging from medicines, cosmetics, and fragrances to personal care items and general merchandise, Watsons delivers only the best health, wellness, and beauty solutions to each and every customer. With over 1,000 stores in the Philippine, Watsons is committed to providing accessible and affordable health and beauty solutions to Filipinos. Their dedication to promoting heart health during Philippine Heart Month is just one example of their mission to empower individuals to take control of their well-being.
By following the simple tips shared by Watsons, you can protect your heart and reduce your risk of cardiovascular diseases. Remember to maintain a healthy diet, move more, make positive lifestyle choices, and stay on top of your heart health with regular check-ups.
As Dr. Leachon advises, don’t hesitate to consult with your doctor if you have concerns about your heart health or experience any symptoms. With the help of Watsons and healthcare professionals, you can take charge of your heart health and enjoy a longer, happier life.
In conclusion, let’s prioritize our heart health not just during Philippine Heart Month, but every day. A healthy heart is the key to a happy and fulfilling life.