This year the Football Association of Wales is supporting World Heart Day, the world’s biggest platform for raising awareness of cardiovascular disease, which includes heart disease and stroke.
Run by the World Heart Federation, and supported by both UEFA and their associate partner for health and wellbeing Healthy Stadia, World Heart Day takes place on 29 September every year and aims to encourage individuals, communities and businesses, including football organisations, to help protect our hearts and improve our quality of life.
This year’s campaign has special significance due to ongoing efforts to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic around the world. Research has identified links between underlying health conditions, such as heart disease and stroke, and worse health outcomes associated with coronavirus making it vitally important that we all protect our hearts.
Physical inactivity, poor diet and smoking tobacco products are all associated with increased severity of disease in COVID-19 patients. However, through simple changes to our lifestyles, we can all work towards lowering the burden of heart disease and stroke and reduce the likelihood of poor outcomes associated with coronavirus.
The Football Association of Wales is asking all football fans to USE ♥ to:
- take more exercise more often
- eat a balanced diet including at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day
- stop smoking and support others to kick the habit
This World Heart Day also welcomes the launch of the Smokefree Sports initiative. A decision to ban smoking on the side lines of all small-sided football games in Wales.
The historic move by FAW and FAW Trust following a campaign by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) Wales, is aimed at de-normalising smoking in the eyes of children.
By making small changes to our lifestyles and the places where we live, work, and play we can strengthen our hearts to help tackle coronavirus and improve our own health and the health of our communities.