WORKING FOR HEALTHY HEARTS IN BARNSLEY
29th September 2016 – World Heart Day
This year our local Lifelong Learning Centre in Royston have chosen to promote World Heart Day for the whole of September. It’s an opportunity for the Barnsley Long Term Exercise Heart Support Group to promote its heart-healthy activities locally as part of a global campaign to reduce the world’s number one killer, one that claims 17.5 million lives each year – cardiovascular disease (CVD)
This global event is organised by the World Heart Federation . Its mission by 2025 is to reduce premature deaths from cardiovascular disease (CVD) by at least 25%. The focus of World Heart Day 2016 is on creating heart-healthy environments.
“This World Heart Day, we want everyone to understand what they can do to fuel their hearts and power their lives. Your heart is at the heart of your health. And it’s easy to give it the care it deserves.” – World Heart Foundation
The World Heart Federation has many partners around the world including the British Heart Foundation. Barnsley LTE Heart Support Group is a charity affiliated to the BHF. Many of its members have a history of cardiovascular disease and others manage diseases that could lead to heart problems. Its members are acutely aware of the importance of both cardiac rehabilitation and prevention.
“Our aim to drive action to educate people that by controlling risk factors such as tobacco use, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity, at least 80% of premature deaths from heart disease and stroke could be avoided.” – World Heart Foundation
The risk of physical inactivity
Regular long term exercise (LTE) has been proven to reduce the risk associated with cardiovascular disease. Many hospitals have their own cardiac rehabilitation support units that focus on exercise, however after a patient is released from a support programme it is vital to continue with regular LTE. Likewise, many doctor’s surgeries have patients with diseases such as type 2 diabetes, arthritis and COPD that can benefit positively from more regular activity.
At the European Society of Cardiology Congress in Rome in August this year, research presented from a 12 year study of nearly 2500 adults aged 65 to 74 years, found that moderate and high leisure time physical activity were associated with a 54% and 66% reduction in CVD mortality.
“Moderate physical activity linked with 50% reduction in cardiovascular death in over-65s”
The study provided further evidence that the protective effect of physical activity was “dose dependent”. In other words, the more you do and continue to do regularly, the better.
However, in the UK, one in four women and one in five men in England do less than 30 minutes of moderate physical activity per week – way below the recommended amount of 150 minutes per week.
Not just the over 65s
And of course, it is not only older people whose hearts can benefit from more exercise. A 2014 Government paper “Living Well for Longer” is a call to action to reduce avoidable premature mortality. It highlighted the establishment of an NHS prevention programme as a clear way forward. The current “Change 4 Life” campaign is part of this NHS prevention programme and with its emphasis on nutrition and exercise, it is aimed at all age groups.
“Avoidable” and “prevention” are the key issues here. The World Heart Federation, The British Heart Foundation and other organisations around the world, pioneer research into heart and circulatory disease. They seek treatments for those born with heart defects or develop hereditary heart problems as well as all those who survive a heart attack or endure daily battles with heart failure. But, to quote the World Heart Foundation “at least 80% of premature deaths from heart disease and stroke could be avoided.”
The burden on health care services around the world is colossal.
The message is simple: to live a long, happy and healthy life, to enjoy our independence, our children and grandchildren, to value what we have, to share with good friends the joy of living, we must take personal responsibility for our lifestyle and make it a healthy lifestyle. And it is never too late to start.
Of course, we never know what is round the corner, but what we can do, individually, is reduce the risk of heart disease and failure. Collectively it adds up to a massive global difference.
Take charge of your heart health and that of others.
Enjoy World Heart Day – love your heart – power your life!
World Heart Day – Thursday 29th September 2016
— POST SCRIPT —
Awareness of heart problems is one of the key aims of World Heart Day. It’s important to know the differences between cardiac arrest, heart attack and stroke. Understanding the risk factors associated with each can considerably lower the probability of suffering from any one of them.
Heart attack is a problem with the supply of blood to the heart.
Cardiac arrest is a problem concerning the electrical system of the heart.
Stroke is a problem concerning the interruption or severe reduction of blood supply to the brain.
More information about each can be found at the excellent website healthdigezt.com