Give some thought to your heart this Valentine’s Day
While February 14 is often a soft and fluffy day all about love hearts, Kiwis should think seriously about the health of their hearts too this Valentine’s Day, a leading New Zealand health expert says.
Heart diseases is the single biggest killer of New Zealanders. Every 90 minutes a New Zealander dies from heart disease and cardiovascular disease accounts for 30 percent of Kiwi deaths every year. Many of the deaths are preventable.
Richard Beddie, chief executive of Exercise New Zealand, says the best thing people can do with for a loved one, to help prevent heart disease, is to enjoy some sort of organised physical activity with their Valentine.
“The hormones associated with love also have similarities with those from exercise. There has never been an easier time to get into activity with the number of facilities and locations offering exercise. The number of places to train or get fitter have jumped in New Zealand 50 percent over the last five years, with everything from gyms and boot camps to yoga,” Beddie adds.
For those new to activity, aiming for at least half an hour once or twice a week is a great place to start.
“Studies have even shown that increasing the amount of movement every day, by using a standing desk, walking the dog or taking the stairs instead of the elevator, reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease,” Beddie says.