The right steps to a healthier heart
THOUSANDS of people went the extra mile in aid of the Irish Heart Foundation (IHF) on World Heart Day yesterday.
Huge numbers took part in walks organised all over the country as part of the national day of awareness of heart disease and stroke.
Former international rugby captain Keith Wood lent his support to promote the health benefits of walking.
The sporting hero is pictured above by Leon Farrell leading a 5km walk in the Phoenix Park in Dublin, which attracted a large crowd.
"Mr Wood is an active supporter of the IHF because, like in most Irish families, heart disease runs in his own family. He is also a great fitness advocate," said a spokesman for the IHF.
Meanwhile, in Galway, Olympic silver medallist race walker Olive Loughnane led a 6.5km walk from Claddagh Hall to Blackrock.
Walkers got to check on their calorie-burning progress with a free download of the Fitfone app for the iPhone or the iPod Touch. The app tracks speed, distance and calories burned.
Cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke) remains the number one killer in Ireland claiming about 10,000 lives each year. About half of the population is not active enough for their heart health, which carries twice the risk of heart attack.
The IHF recommends 30 minutes of walking each day to strengthen the heart and circulation and protect from heart disease and stroke.