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ANTIFRAGILE: Ways to Guard Your Heart


Cardiovascular diseases cause 1 in every 3 deaths, making it one of the world’s leading killers. 1 In fact, based on the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA)’s data, ischemic heart disease is the top cause of death in 2021 with 17.9 percent of the total deaths.


This February marks not just Valentine's Day but Philippine Heart Month. The yearly celebration aims to promote cardiovascular health and wellness. Protecting our hearts against potential heartbreaks and ailments is essential. While the heart is the hardest working muscle in the body, it can still become fragile if not taken care of.

Keep a healthy diet
Heart diseases are serious and fatal but it is possible to prevent them even before symptoms arise. Keeping a healthy diet gives you a good start. Add fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts into your meals, and avoid processed, canned, and fast foods. If you’re a fan of salty meats, try seasoning them with calamansi juice and vinegar instead.

Losing weight is possible with this new diet. Once you've reached the right body mass index (BMI), it is ideal to maintain it to keep your heart healthy. For example, obesity is one of the most common risk factors for heart disease.

Move more
If maintaining a healthy diet proves to be more challenging than expected, move more! Exercising regularly will greatly help the body become stronger. For those who are too busy to sneak in some workout in their daily routine, increasing your mundane physical activities to 2.5 hours per week will be enough. 6 It’s as easy as walking your dog more, brisk walking to the store, choosing stairs over elevators or escalators, dancing to your favorite song, or doing household chores.

Improve lifestyle
Much like obesity, smoking tobacco, and excessively drinking alcohol are risk factors for heart disease.  This includes second-hand smoking and e-cigarettes. 8 Make the right lifestyle choice by avoiding these products. Tobacco is proven harmful to the heart and alcohol has been linked to 200 diseases and injury conditions. Chronic stress also triggers inflammation, high blood pressure, and unhealthy changes in the body. If you suffer from this, meditation, yoga, and deep breathing are your best friends.

Heart health check
There are more specific ways to care for the heart. The Watsons Health Hub provides tips to maintain the right levels of cholesterol and blood pressure as well as promote heart function. For example, taking daily supplements can be a good addition to your heart-healthy lifestyle. 11 Fiber decreases the amount of cholesterol your body gets from food, Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) helps lower blood pressure, and fish oil is full of omega-3 fatty acids that cut down up to 30% of triglycerides, an unhealthy fat in your blood.

For your complete cardiovascular medicines and other health needs, Watsons has over 1,000 stores nationwide that offer over-the-counter and prescription medication as well as expert care through in-store pharmacists, specialists, and staff. You may also conveniently shop online via the Watsons app available for iOS and Android.

While these tips may help you keep your heart healthy, Watsons resident cardiologist Dr. Tony Leachon recommends setting an appointment with your doctor to make sure you are up-to-date with your heart’s condition. “Especially if heart disease runs in your family, it’s best to consult an expert to learn about your risks and how you can manage them,” says Dr. Leachon.

Dr. Leachon added that if you’re experiencing chest pain or discomfort, shortness of breath, sweating, unusual tiredness, sudden dizziness, nausea or vomiting, or cold sweat, inform your doctor right away. 

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