September 29th is World Heart Day, an annual event created in 2000 to encourage people across the globe to take better care of their hearts. It's also a great excuse to post some awesome heart photos and quotes, because let's face it: taking a few minutes to look at something beautiful every once in a while is good for the heart and the soul.
But there are also some serious numbers to consider on Heart Day: cardiovascular disease and stroke are the leading causes of death worldwide, and 17.3 million people die from heart-related problems each year according to the World Heart Federation. This year's Heart Day is all about developing a life-long approach to preventing and controlling cardiovascular disease, particularly for women and children.
You can get tips on improving heart health for kids aged 5-17, adults 18-64 and those 65 and over on the Federation's website. The basic advice for people of any age: eat healthy, stay active and don't smoke. That may seem like obvious advice, but according to the Federation, physical inactivity contributes to over three million preventable deaths per year.
So if you can, get outside and get moving today. Here's a list of events taking place across Canada to celebrate Heart Day.
Here's a handy infographic that breaks down some facts about cardiovascular disease and tips on how to stay healthy: