World Heart Day 2020: How you can help the fight against cardio vascular disease

29 September 2020, 09:57 | Updated: 29 September 2020, 11:14

It's World Heart Day - here's what it's about and how to donate
It's World Heart Day - here's what it's about and how to donate. Picture: Getty

It's World Heart Day! Here's what it's all about, and what you can do to protect and strengthen your heart, and your loved ones'...

World Heart Day raises awareness about the risks of cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke.

By putting CVD at the centre of the conversation, the aim is to help you make and keep a promise to yourself, and your loved ones, to put heart health first.

Heart charities across the world team up for the special day, including the British Heart Foundation.

Click here to donate to the British Heart Foundation

How we celebrated World Heart Day on Heart...

Amanda Holden and Ashley Roberts tested their heart health

Amanda Holden and Ashley Roberts jumped on to a pair of exercise bikes to see whose heart is healthier.

With Jamie Theakston overseeing the ‘race’, he was joined by Barbara Copson, senior cardiac nurse, who took their pulses before the peddling began.

She explained the experiment would be testing their individual recovery times.

Barbara said: “The fitter someone is, the quicker they are expected to recover after exercise.”

Ashley covered the furthest distance in six minutes - but Amanda’s heart recovered the fastest, showing that she was the real winner.

Barbara added: “This is is one way for people to work out if their heart health is good, but it is not the be all and end all.”

"My son, 8, had a heart transplant last year"

Graham and his son James, 8, spoke to Jamie and Amanda about his life-saving surgery last year.

James had been feeling unwell, and it turned out he had caught a virus that caused his heart to enlarge.

Thankfully a donor was found in the nick of time, and now the little lad can go back to living life to the fullest!

But it goes to show that heart disease can affect anyone in your family, young or old.

"My dad survived a heart attack last week!"

Heart Early Breakfast presenter James Stewart told Jamie Theakston and Amanda Holden that his dad, 55, had a heart attack last Sunday... thankfully he has made a full recovery.

James said it took his dad falling ill for him to learn the symptoms of a heart attack can include nausea and sweating - and he wants everyone to start taking better care of their hearts.

Heart disease kills more women than breast cancer

We were joined by Dr. Hazel Wallace, who revealed that heart disease kills more women a year than breast cancer.

She said there is no time like the present to get more active, drink less, stop smoking and eat a better diet.

Red wine and dark chocolate AREN'T good for your heart

Dr. Hazel also debunked myths about red wine and dark chocolate's 'health benefits'.

It was bad news for Amanda, who asked if her favourite tipple is actually doing her some good as well as tasting delicious!

Changing your diet can have huge health benefits
Changing your diet can have huge health benefits. Picture: Getty

Heart Research UK have shared their tips for making a heart-friendly change to your life by using the SMART framework, check them out below.

Specific

Could you and your partner help each other by cutting down on alcohol? Set a specific target to keep you motivated and focused; use an app to count your units, put a cap on 14 units each week and promise to keep 2-3 days alcohol free.

Measurable

Is it time to keep a check on your waistline? Excess weight around the middle can put strain on your heart. Check how your heart health measures up by digging out the measuring tape. Measure again in 12 weeks’ time after some heart healthy changes to your diet and lifestyle and aim for less than 80cm for women and less than 94cm for men.

Achievable

Are you trying to help someone at home give up smoking? Is this achievable for them right now? Don’t set them up for failure by pestering them to go cold turkey but make a promise to support them by removing the triggers, changing the routine and directing them to smoking cessation techniques.

Realistic

If you’re a busy parent or a full time carer, it might not be practical to ditch the car and take up cycling, but you might be able to include a brisk buggy walk to your day or go swimming once a week. The key to being physically active is to find realistic ways to sit less and move more.

Timed

Set a goal date and make sure your goal is achievable in the time frame. Why not sign up for a Santa themed running event to keep the momentum going over winter? Committing to a date helps keep you motivated and you’ll feel a sense of achievement when you cross the finishing line.