Cardiovascular diseases are the top cause of death among Filipinos. This has been true for several years and the trend has only been increasing. The good news is that CVDs are considered preventable diseases, that means you can do something about it! In celebration of Philippine Heart Month every February we bring you 2 things you can do to take better care of your heart.
Eat a heart healthy diet
The easiest thing you can change in your diet is your rice. Research has shown that by replacing white rice with brown rice, we decrease our risk for cardiovascular diseases and help us lose a bit of weight. You don’t have to say goodbye to white rice forever, you can have white rice for dinner and brown rice for breakfast and lunch; a worthwhile compromise considering that this is your life and your heart we’re talking about.
Once you have that down you can move on to increasing your consumption of fruits and vegetables and decreasing your intake of salty meats.
“Let food be thy medicine, and let medicine be thy food.”
Increase regular physical activity to 75-150 minutes per week.
Adults are recommended to do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity per week. That’s only three (3) x 50 minute brisk walks or bike rides in a week to keep your heart healthy. If you plan on doing this regularly and making this a habit be sure to enlist the help of your family and friends as it has been shown that being surrounded by people with the same goals or at least being surrounded by people who support you in your goals increase your likelihood of succeeding.
If 150 minutes of exercise sounds too long for you then you can switch to 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity per week. That translates to three (3) workouts consisting of 25 minutes of running, swimming, or biking on hills per session. If you don’t have the time to workout 3 times a week then you can do two (2) workouts with 37.5 minutes of vigorous activity each! That’s only one or two episodes of your favorite netflix series!
Whatever workout you decide to do, take a walk or ride your bike, do it but do it consistently because life is short.
It takes years for a cardiovascular disease to develop. By the time that you feel it, it might already be too late. It only takes a minute to get up, lace up your rubber shoes, and take a walk.