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5 easy steps to keep your heart healthy and happy |

Health And Family

5 easy steps to keep your heart healthy and happy

Dolly Dy-Zulueta -
5 easy steps to keep your heart healthy and happy
The "Heart Reacts Only" campaign encourages Filipinos to love and take care of their heart in five easy steps.
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MANILA, Philippines — The heart is essential to life, the all-important organ that pumps blood to the body to distribute oxygen and nutrients to the cells. Every beat of the heart ensures the continuity of life, love and happiness.

The problem is that while the heart takes care of the body, we do not take enough care of it.

Cardiovascular diseases (CVC) continue to be a pressing concern among Filipinos. Ischemic heart diseases were the leading cause of death in the Philippines in 2022, accounting for 114,557 cases or 18.4% of total deaths recorded during said report, according to 2023 data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). The rising incidence of heart risks in the country, as one study about cardiovascular diseases in the Philippines pointed out, makes heart diseases a public health emergency.

Omron Healthcare, a global leader in the field of clinically proven, innovative medical equipment, has initiated the "Heart Reacts Only" campaign to encourage Filipinos to love and take care of their heart in five easy steps.

1. Regularly check your blood pressure.

It is a simple habit to build, but it can save lives. Having regular blood pressure check-ups gives you an overview of your heart’s health. Knowing your blood pressure levels provides a clue if you are at risk of having heart diseases.

Nowadays, it is easier to do so with the help of reliable, accurate and quality blood pressure monitoring tools, such as the Omron Complete, which uses electro-cardiogram (ECG) technology to enable early detection of atrial fibrillation (AFib), a condition that is commonly associated with heart failure and stroke. The Complete is also able to detect other conditions such as tachycardia or a faster heart rate and bradycardia or a slower heart rate.

OMRON’s Stroke Risk Calculator is an online tool that helps users assess their risk of having a stroke in the next five to 10 years. All you need to do is visit the OMRON webpage and tap on the “Calculate Now” button. This will bring you to an assessment form that covers general personal information, daily habits and diet, and any other significant information from your recent check-ups.

The Stroke Risk Calculator analyzes your stroke risk based on your answers and immediately shows the results. It will also show you the possible and specific factors that may lead to a stroke. The Stroke Risk Calculator is free and can be easily accessed by anyone.

2. Hydrate properly!

Just like you, your heart works extra hard every day, so it needs to feel refreshed to be able to do its job better.

Ever notice that when you’re dehydrated, your heart starts beating faster? That’s because the blood volume throughout your body decreases, which means your heart has to beat faster to “catch up.” This then increases your heart rate and your blood pressure. This can overwork and strain one’s heart.

Drinking enough water daily is a surefire way to support the heart in doing its job. By hydrating properly and regularly, you not only enable your heart to function properly but you contribute to its health and well-being.

3. Laugh more!

It’s true what they say. Laughter is indeed the best medicine. For one, laughter relaxes you. It also counters stress, which can hurt your heart if not managed well.

Laughing brings a plethora of advantages for your heart. It enables oxygenated blood to circulate around your body, helps your heart work at a steadier pace and lowers blood pressure. It can even decrease artery inflammation and increase good cholesterol. All of these contribute to reducing the risk of heart diseases.

So the next time you see or hear something that splits your sides, go and laugh your heart out! It’s good for you in so many ways.

4. Do some cardio exercises.

Exercise strengthens your muscles, including your heart. Doing some spirited cardio regularly helps improve your heart’s ability to pump blood throughout your body, resulting in improved blood flow and higher oxygen levels.

The American Heart Association advises at least 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise or 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity — or a combination of both — every week. You don’t need to do all 75 or 150 minutes in one go. Spread the workouts throughout the week to remain active. Get off that couch and move around. One option is to do 13 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise or 25 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a day for six days and leave one day for rest.

Your workouts don’t necessarily need to be intense all the time, especially if you’re just a beginner. If you can’t sneak a full-on workout in your hectic day, try indoor walking or brisk walking around the neighborhood.

Other moderate-intensity workouts can be biking, gardening or, to make exercising more fun, dancing! Then push your body further with more vigorous activities like running, jumping rope or cycling.

Some people refuse to exercise because they think it’s too much work or it can feel pressuring. The suggestions above will not only make exercising fun and manageable but may even help you sustain the workouts and eventually make them part of your routine.

5. Get adequate quality sleep.

It’s no secret what sleeping can do. It allows your body to repair and recharge after a long day. It also plays a major role in keeping your heart healthy.

Achieving quality sleep regularly helps lower your blood pressure. Often, we disregard getting enough quality sleep because we’re too caught up in our daily work or just like to stay up late. Sleep deprivation has long-lasting effects, particularly on your heart. Poor-quality and lack of sleep raises your blood pressure, and it can stay high for a longer period of time. This can increase your risk for heart disease, heart attacks, diabetes and stroke.

If you’re guilty of bedtime procrastination because you tend to put work first or can’t seem to let go of your phone at night, now’s the time to start fixing your sleep schedule. Doing so will not only give you the rest that you need and deserve but will also keep your heart healthy.

Caring for your heart doesn’t necessarily have to involve big and complicated efforts. In fact, it’s the simple daily habits — like the ones listed above — that make all the difference. The next time you’re thinking about brushing aside these little steps, think of your heart. It does so much for you, and these small efforts can be your way of saying thank you.

RELATED: Why you should take cholesterol control to heart

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