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Give some thought to your heart on Valentine's Day

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Kiwis should think seriously about their heart and their loved one tomorrow on 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. The Heart Foundation says 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.

"Healthy living isn’t about sacrificing for one day, it’s about making changes for the long term. For those new to activity, if they aim for at least half an hour once or twice a week, they should be very happy to consistently achieve that, and build from there," Beddie says.

There are an estimated 550,000 Kiwis who work on fitness at gyms and exercise facilities alone. If considered a sport, exercise continues to be the number one sport in New Zealand, having more participants than the rugby, netball and cricket combined.

He says exercise is now the No.1 sport in New Zealand and growing research confirming the health benefits of activity for all Kiwis.

"Studies have 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.

"So, whether people want to work at a gym or facility three times a week, take 10,000 steps a day or give the dog an extra walk every day in 2018, commit to something you love, for your loved on, and know that your body and mind will benefit."

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