By G9ija

Ms May Ikokwu, the Chief Executive Officer, Save Our Heritage Initiative (SOHI),
says stress management is vital for maintenance of healthy heart among  people,  especially older persons.

Ikokwu, also the Secretary General, Coalition of Societies for the Rights of Older Persons in Nigeria (COSROPIN), said this in commemoration of World Heart Day (WHD), in Abuja, on Tuesday.

World Heart day is annually observed on Sept. 29 around the globe to raise public awareness about Cardiovascular Disease (CVD).

CVD has many causes: from smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity, to air pollution and rare and neglected conditions such as Chagas Disease and cardiac amyloidosis.

In the time of COVID-19, CVD patients faced double-edged threat. Not only were they more at risk of developing severe forms of the virus, but they might  also be afraid to seek  care for their hearts.

She added that heart related diseases were the highest causes of global mortality, especially among older persons.

She expressed concern over the unprecedented changes in lifestyle and diets, mostly responsible for heart related deaths, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic.

She, however, added that “with a paradigm shift in the way of  life  in this unprecedented times, it is important that we don’t stress ourselves but try to stay calm and composed while dealing with the pandemic and putting our best in managing work and personal life balances.

“Many people are consuming a lot of junk foods because of its convenience and this habit is totally unhealthy.

“Everyone, especially older persons are encouraged to eat a lot of locally grown vegetables, picked fresh from gardens or better still uncooked.

“For a healthy heart, reduce the intake of oil, fried and processed foods. The combination of a balanced meal with 30 minutes exercise or one hour walk daily would go a long way in keeping the heart healthy.”

She urged adults to walk whenever possible by using the stairs instead of elevators.

She said “use the stairs instead of elevators, walk up to your vehicle, drop off a short distance from the drop zone and walk.”