There is truth to the saying that “the heart wants what it wants”. However, not all that the heart wants and desires is good for us, at least not as far as our health is concerned. In the Philippines, heart ailments are still considered the top cause of death. Quite surprisingly, age is no longer considered a precursor to acquiring health diseases. In fact, nowadays more and more younger people are subjected to a much higher risk of heart ailments simply because of the unhealthy lifestyles and detrimental habits they practice. Recent reports show that 1 in every 3 Filipinos is predicted to die from cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attack or stroke, before they turn 70 years old.
Causative Factors for Heart Diseases
A number of causative factors have been identified as the main reasons why heart ailments remain the leading cause of death in the Philippines. One of these is physical inactivity or a sedentary lifestyle. Another is obesity which is associated with higher levels of bad cholesterol and other types of chronic illnesses. Unhealthy eating also has a close link to heart diseases as diets that are high in trans fats and saturated fats may trigger blockage of the arteries, while foods with too much sodium may increase blood pressure. Drinking too much alcohol and frequent tobacco use are also top risk factors because alcohol increases triglyceride levels in the body, and smoking causes damage to blood vessels. Moreover, genetic factors may also come into play in having heart diseases as it is a family trait that may be passed on from generation to generation.
Preventing Heart Ailments and Living a Healthy Life
If everyone is at risk of suffering from heart ailments at some point in their lives, what should be done to at least prevent it? Research suggests that in order to combat heart diseases, one must live an active lifestyle. Regular, moderate exercise done at least 3 to 4 times a week will be extremely beneficial in preventing heart diseases. Eating healthier foods with larger amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables is also considered vital in maximizing one’s health. Quitting smoking and reducing alcohol intake will also do great wonders in preventing heart ailments in the future. Managing stress and maintaining a healthy weight with lower body fat, glucose, and cholesterol levels are also necessary in living a healthy lifestyle with a lower risk for heart ailments.
The Matters of the Heart Know No Age
Filipinos must know that “the matters of the heart know no age” at least from a medical standpoint. Thus, whether young or old, all must strive to live a more active and healthier lifestyle that incorporates healthy eating habits, managed stress and weight levels, and regular exercise. After all, it is never too late or too early to begin a healthy lifestyle. Your heart will certainly thank you for it!
ABS CBN News. (2011). Heart disease is PH’s top killer: NSO. https://news.abs-cbn.com/lifestyle/10/20/11/heart-disease-phs-top-killer-nso
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2019). Know your risk for heart disease. https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/risk_factors.htm?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fheartdisease%2Fbehavior.htm
Junio, L. (2018). Heart disease still leading cause of death in PH. https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1026785
Rappler.com. (2018). 1 in 3 Filipinos could die from these diseases before age 70. https://www.rappler.com/science-nature/life-health/202835-filipinos-premature-death-cardiovascular-respiratory-diseases-diabetes-cancer-who-mission