heart rhythmA charity is calling on people to use World Heart Day (29 September) to “Power Your Heart” by taking on one of its fitness challenges or planning one of their own.

Heart Research UK has devised a series of personal challenges that will help people to get fitter and heart-healthy as well as raising funds for the charity’s work in the prevention, treatment and cure of heart disease.

Among the challenges are to swim the length of the English Channel in your local pool, take part in your own triathlon in your own time and your own pace, and organise your own “My run, my way” event. The charity is also encouraging people to organise a Healthy Bake Off at work or with family and friends.

By backing the World Heart Federation’s World Heart Day on 29 September the charity aims to raise awareness about cardiovascular disease.  

The theme this year is to make everyone aware of what they can do to fuel their hearts and power their lives. Just a few simple steps such as eating more healthily, cutting down on alcohol and stopping smoking can improve your heart health and overall well-being. 

Heart Research UK Head of Fundraising Income, Fran Shilton, said World Heart Day is a great opportunity for people to take stock of their heart health and make positive lifestyle changes. “It’s very easy for us all to slip into bad habits and neglect our fitness particularly when we might be busy at work or home.  

“Our challenges are designed to help people become more active, but at their own pace and in their own time – as well as raising funds to help us continue our important work.”

Johanna Ralston, CEO of the World Heart Federation, said heart health is central to everyone’s health. “When you look after your heart it means eating and drinking well, exercising, stopping smoking... all the things that make you not only healthier, but also feel good and able to enjoy your life to the fullest,” she said.

“World Heart Day is a vital global platform that we, as well as our members and supporters, can use to raise awareness and encourage individuals, families, communities and governments to take action now. 

“Together we have the power to reduce the burden of, and premature deaths from, cardiovascular disease helping people everywhere to live longer, better, heart-healthy lives.”

To sign up for Heart Research UK challenges go to: http://heartresearch.org.uk/events/whd