Holiday Health Tip: Get Fit at Home

This year’s Christmas looks different as most households continue to shelter at home from the pandemic and set up holiday parties virtually for an added layer of caution without missing the festivities.

Coach Jim and Toni Saret led #ForYourSweetHeartPH’s “Healthy Heart At Home” online fitness class

The “stay at home” order that began in March and continues well until this holiday season remains to be a good measure in preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus. However, it also leaves Filipinos susceptible to a sedentary lifestyle that could pose a danger to one’s overall health, including an increased risk of diabetes.

While this year’s Christmas season is a time to gather the family around through various messaging app sessions, the temptation to just sit down, talk to a gadget screen while feasting on delectable holiday spread is strong. This habit-forming lifestyle, while it may seem innocent in the beginning, can seriously lead to a health issue, which may include diabetes.

Data from the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) reveals that in 2020 alone, nearly 4 million Filipinos are afflicted with diabetes.[1] One of the long-term complications of diabetes is cardiovascular disease, which accounts for 52 percent of deaths among people with Type 2 diabetes, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) Multinational Study of Vascular Disease in Diabetes.[2]  What is even more alarming is that many of those living with diabetes do not know of this critical link between diabetes and heart disease.

To address this knowledge gap, the “For Your SweetHeart” campaign spearheaded by Boehringer Ingelheim (Philippines), Inc., in partnership with medical societies and patient groups, was recently launched to increase awareness among Filipinos about the deadly connection between diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Recently, the “For Your SweetHeart” campaign organized an activity to get Filipinos moving amid home quarantine through an online fitness class called “Healthy Heart At Home.” The online fitness class led by top fitness coaches Jim and Toni Saret was designed to share key information to the general public about Type 2 diabetes and heart disease connection in a more fun, interactive, and engaging approach.

#ForYourSweetHeartPH ambassador Kuya Kim Atienza and AACE Philippines President Dr. Ayi Faller supported the event

TV personality and “For Your SweetHeart” campaign ambassador Kim “Kuya Kim” Atienza, together with Dr. Ayi Faller, President of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists – Philippine Chapter, graced the event with their presence to share the campaign’s mission.

“It’s a cause close to my heart because my mom is living with Type 2 diabetes. There is a need for extra care and caution when it comes to her diet and lifestyle. As her son, I always remind her to take care of her health as well as the need for regular visits to the doctor,” Kuya Kim disclosed in a special video message.

For her part, Dr. Ayi Faller briefly shared facts about the critical link between Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

“Patients with diabetes are two to four times[3] more likely to develop heart disease. Over time, uncontrolled high blood sugar can damage blood vessels and nerves, leading to the heart and ultimately raising blood pressure levels. Diabetes also increases the level of bad cholesterol. All of these factors increase the risk of heart disease in patients with diabetes,” Dr. Faller explained.

The event also introduced the website where patients can learn more about the campaign. The website includes helpful articles on diabetes and heart disease management and an assessment tool based on the Framingham 10-year Heart Disease Risk Test[4], which requires details of the patient’s total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and systolic blood pressure.

Coaches Jim and Toni led the fitness class featuring low-impact exercise routines that can be easily done at home with loved ones.

“The most important thing is to keep your body moving to keep elevated blood sugar and its complications at bay,” Coach Jim said.

“And to have fun while at it!” Coach Toni added.

For a different yet special holiday memory with family and friends, why not consider getting fit and fab together and follow the lead of coaches Jim and Toni?

Watch, learn and get moving through this online fitness class:

The “For Your SweetHeart” campaign is supported by the Philippine Heart Association (PHA), Institute for Studies on Diabetes Foundation Inc. (ISDFI), American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE), Philippine Society of Endocrinology Diabetes and Metabolism (PSEDM), Diabetes Philippines (DP), Philippine Association of Diabetes Educators (PADE), Association of Diabetes Nurse Educators of the Philippines, Inc. (ADNEP), and Philippine Alliance of Patient Organizations (PAPO).

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