Get Moving on World Heart Day

Exercising for heart health is the focus on September 29

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Robert Carlson, M.D Beth Bolt, RPh

(RxWiki News) As James Brown says, “Get up offa that thing.” On September 29, World Heart Day, the World Heart Federation (WHF) encourages everyone to think of heart health and get moving.

Inactivity increases the chance of getting heart disease and dying prematurely. Exercise can reverse some cardiovascular disease risk factors, including lowering cholesterol, losing weight, and helping to keep arteries open and flexible. Any type of exercise can improve heart health, and on World Heart Day, the WHF is recommending that people at least take a walk.

"Exercise regularly to improve heart health."

Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association, reminds everyone that heart disease and strokes are the number one and two leading killers worldwide, but they can often be avoided by making simple, healthy lifestyle choices.

“By practicing prevention — eating healthy, regular exercise and avoiding tobacco — we can conquer these killers,” said Brown in a press release. “On this World Heart Day, we encourage everyone to take the road that leads to a heart healthy life.”

The World Health Organization, however, reports that physical activity is on the decline globally. A recent six-country survey revealed that between 14 and 37 percent of adults don’t pay attention to one of the easiest things most people can do to protect their heart health — walking. That’s why the WHF is urging everyone to take the time on World Heart Day to go for a walk.

“By reaching the recommended guideline of a minimum 30 minutes of moderate exercise, which includes brisk walking at least five days a week, many premature deaths can be prevented,” said Dr Kathryn Taubert, Chief Science Officer, WHF, in a press release.

Even 15 minutes a day of moderate exercise (which includes brisk walking) can have major health benefits, adding up to three years to life expectancy.

The WHF says that apps on smart phones and fitness tracking devices can motivate people to keep moving. Research has found that people who wear pedometers increase their physical activity by almost 27 percent, according the Foundation.

The American Heart Association recommends that people focus on “Life’s Simple 7” to improve cardiovascular health:

  1. Get active.
  2. Control cholesterol.
  3. Eat better.
  4. Manage blood pressure.
  5. Lose weight.
  6. Reduce blood sugar.
  7. Stop smoking.

On this World Health Day, however, the WHF is stressing the importance of getting up and moving to live longer and healthier.

As Dr. Srinath Reddy, president of the World Heart Federation said,  “Your feet can carry your heart very far in life.”

Review Date: 
September 29, 2013
Last Updated:
September 30, 2013