With St. Valentine's Day fast approaching, the news we all wanted to hear...
LOVE IS GOOD FOR YOUR HEART!
Valentines Day lovers have another reason to celebrate today, as latest
findings show that being in love and being loved helps to keep us healthy
and is particularly good for our hearts.
This positive news has been identified by the World Heart Federation, an
NGO dedicated to the global prevention of heart disease and stroke. The
research showed that affection and kindness in our lives helps us to
maintain a good mental attitude, while enhancing health through its
positive impact on immune systems and the heart.¹
A loving atmosphere, whether from friends, family or a partner also reduces
stress, depression and anxiety, which are recognised as major psychological
risk factors that cause heart disease.²
One in three of us will die from developing heart disease or stroke. If we
smoke, have a high cholesterol level and high blood pressure, this will
increase by 20% our risk for the next 10 years of developing heart disease
by the age of 50 for men and 60 for women.³
"This is why we are stressing the importance of
adopting a healthy
lifestyle and the positive impact that love can make in keeping your heart
healthy", says Professor Mario Maranhão, President of the World Heart
Federation. "Finding the right balance between physical and emotional
health is so important. The presence of social support and social networks
in improving health and preventing premature death, are very important
especially when taken together with all the preventative actions such as
stopping smoking, taking regular physical exercise and adopting healthy
diets," concluded Professor Maranhão.
The World Heart Federation's advice is to:
- reduce levels of stress by finding time to relax and by getting a
- choose a diet with lots of variety and always include fresh
fruit, whole grains and vegetables.
- drink alcohol in moderation and reduce the levels of saturated
fat and cholesterol in your diet.
- make exercise a part of your lifestyle, thirty minutes of
moderately intensive exercise at least three times a week.
- if you smoke cigarettes, give them up-experts agree that
treatment, together with advice and support from your GP, pharmacist or nurse
can provide you with the best chance ever of quitting.
By applying these steps to a healthy lifestyle, the World
Heart Federation wants everyone to know on Valentine's Day that they can do something
positive to prevent heart disease later in life.
- Annual Review Psychol. 2002; 53:314-69
- R.S. Eliot: "From Stress to Strength"; New York, Bantam Books;
- European Heart Journal; Prevention of Coronary Heart Disease in Clinical
Practices Recommendation of the 2nd Joint Task Force of
European and other Societies on Coronary Prevention; 1998; 19: 1434-1503
World Heart Day - 29th September 2002
World Heart Day is a major driving force for encouraging global
cardiovascular disease prevention. It is a great opportunity for all of the
World Heart Federation's members in 97 countries to share and spread the
latest news of cardiovascular disease prevention.
The theme for this year's activities is "A Heart for Life",
healthy lifestyle through increased physical activity and a reduction of
the risk of cardiovascular disease through smoke-free living, healthy
nutrition and weight control, amongst other measures.
During World Heart Day, member societies of cardiology and heart
foundations worldwide will organise activities to promote the theme, 'a
heart for life'. These will include festivals promoting healthy eating,
professional health counselling and blood pressure monitoring and events to
encourage increased physical exercise such as walking, jogging, cycling,
roller-skating, skipping, aerobic demonstrations and football matches.
The World Heart Federation
The World Heart Federation is a Non Governmental Organisation based in
Geneva and dedicated to the prevention and control of cardiovascular
diseases around the world. The Federation is committed to helping the
global population achieve a longer and better life through prevention and
control of heart disease and stroke, with a particular focus on low and
middle-income countries. The World Heart Federation is comprised of 166
member societies of cardiology and heart foundations from 97 countries and
continental members covering the regions of Asia-Pacific, Europe, East
Mediterranean, InterAmerica and Africa.