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This Sunday, September 29th is World Heart Day. As most of you are aware, heart disease is the world’s leading cause of death, claiming over 17 million lives every year. The reality is that well over 80% of all these deaths could be prevented by practising healthy lifestyle habits.

A recent study out of Holland showed clearly that the combination of a good quality diet, regular exercise, not smoking, moderate alcohol and having a healthy sleep habit, reduced rates of cardiovascular disease somewhere between 70-80%.

If you throw in the best drug on the planet, i.e. happiness, on top of that, we would be seeing the rates of cardiovascular disease plummet.

See World Heart Day as a reminder to reinforce or commence your preventative health strategies. Why not take the opportunity to have a full preventative check with your doctor, having a fasting blood test for risk factors such as cholesterol, blood sugar and also, of course, to have your blood pressure checked. If you are a smoker, see World Heart Day as a good time to stop. If you don’t exercise regularly, develop a regular exercise habit. Regardless, ensuring these healthy habits are part of your day-to-day life, will ensure you are taking the road to a healthy heart and a healthy body.

- Dr Ross Walker

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