What you can do for better heart health

Advances in scientific and technological knowledge have provided unprecedented advantages in terms of immeasurable convenience in our daily living, lightning-fast transportation, borderless communication, and life-saving medicines and vaccines, to name just a few.

However, our fast-paced modern lifestyle has also given rise to unhealthy behaviors such as prolonged sitting, lack of physical activity, poor diet, and short sleep duration. All of these are independent risk factors in the development of cardiometabolic disease.

What is cardiometabolic disease?

Cardiometabolic disease describes a range of conditions beginning with insulin resistance, progressing to the metabolic syndrome, pre-diabetes, and finally to more severe conditions including cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) and type 2 diabetes.

Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of biochemical and physiological abnormalities associated with the development of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Prediabetes is a serious health condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. It increases a person’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. CVDs are diseases of the heart and blood vessels that can lead to heart attack and stroke, among others.

These conditions are grouped under the umbrella term “cardiometabolic disease” because they are related or share risk factors, such as overweight and obesity, dyslipidemia (imbalance of lipids such as cholesterol, LDL-C, triglycerides, and HDL), and high blood pressure.

CVDs are responsible for a third of deaths in the Philippines. Around 27 million Filipino adults are overweight or obese; there is also a rising trend in dyslipidemia among Filipinos. The prevalence of high blood pressure among Filipino adults has increased from 22% in the 1990s to 37% in 2021; high blood pressure is the most common CVD risk factor in the country.

How to reduce your risk of cardiometabolic disease?

  • Eat a low-fat, low-salt diet rich in vegetables, fruits, lean meats, whole-wheat grains, and legumes.
  • Engage in at least 30-60 minutes a day of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity, such as brisk walking, running, swimming, cycling, playing tennis and jumping rope, among others.
  • Getting enough quality sleep is critical for your heart health. Get at least 7 hours of sleep each night.
  • Quit smoking, and avoid second-hand smoke.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation, or not at all.

Avoid prolonged sitting

Any extended sitting increases your risk of cardiometabolic disease. Here are ways you can avoid prolonged sitting and move more for better heart health:

  • Take a break from sitting every 30 minutes.
  • Stand while talking on the phone or watching television.
  • If you work at a desk, try a standing desk — or improvise with a high table or counter.
  • Walk with your colleagues for meetings rather than sit in a conference room.

Make sure to go for regular medical check-ups and take your maintenance medications as prescribed by your doctor. Take care of your heart daily – shop now at Watsons for heart health essentials.



https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5682337/. Accessed 27 November 2023
https://www.who.int/philippines/news/detail/30-09-2022-doh-who-rtsl-whf-commit-strengthen-collaboration-cardiovascular-diseases-prevention. Accessed 27 November 2023
https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/prediabetes.html#:~:text=What%20Is%20Prediabetes%3F,t%20know%20they%20have%20it. Accessed 27 November 2023
https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2023/03/07/2249836/27-million-pinoys-overweight-or-obese-global-pharmaceutical-firm. Accessed 27 November 2023
https://www.fnri.dost.gov.ph/index.php/nutrition-statistic/19-nutrition-statistic/118-8th-national-nutrition-survey. Accessed 27 November 2023
https://www.japscjournal.com/articles/overview-presyon-4-trial-and-its-impact-practice. Accessed 27 November 2023
https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/sitting/faq-20058005. Accessed 27 November 2023
https://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/sleep.htm. Accessed 27 November 2023

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