Pakistani College Women Study Heart Health

Students from Kinnaird College for Women marched on Monday in celebration of World Heart Day. (Arooj Khalid/YJI)
LAHORE, Pakistan – A healthy heart is a top priority to everyone. But does everyone really work for it? Or does everyone know how to keep a healthy heart?

A skit explored the activities that can be hazardous to the heart. (Arooj Khalid/YJI)

Students at Kinnaird College for Women in Lahore got a crash course in heart health in the campus observation of World Heart Day on Monday.

World Heart Day focuses on teaching the global population about heart diseases, prevention, precautions and spreading other important heart-related information.
At Kinnaird College, the college’s Science Society led the student body in observing World Heart Day with a lecture by Dr. Muhammad Ali Awan, a skit that focused on practices that can lead to cardiovascular diseases – such as smoking and eating fatty foods.
In his talk, Awan emphasized the importance of awareness about these diseases and engaged listeners by posing questions to the audience allowing them to participate.

Dr. Muhammad Ali Awan talks with Kinnaird College students about the importance of good heart health. (Arooj Khalid/YJI)

Awan stressed five major ways to prevent  heart disease: control over food intake, exercise, quitting smoking, control of ongoing diseases, and stress release. He said it is important for people of all ages to check their blood pressure and sugar levels because studies show that heart diseases can start at ages as young as 20 years.
“When we talk about controlling the food intake, we usually say that oily foods like Siri paye or Nihari musn’t be eaten frequently. But the fast food is also quite harmful for your heart,” Awan said.
“When a patient is diagnosed with heart disease, the first question he would ask is, ‘Doctor, what should I eat now?’ whereas the one he should be asking is, ‘Doctor, what shouldn’t I eat now?’”

Students filled the room where Dr. Muhammad Ali Awan lectured on heart health. (Arooj Khalid?YJI)

Awan said it is important to visit health care providers regularly and drew connections between heart disease and diabetes.

“If you have one of these diseases, the other is knocking at the door,” Awan said.
Explaining the influence of exercise on our health, he said, “A 30-minute walk in the morning is better than one in the evening.”
Awan offered counsel for individuals from all walks of life.
“Eat less, eat healthy. Start meditating,” he said.
Following Awan’s lecture, students of the college took part in a World Heart Day walk.
Arooj Khalid is a Senior Reporter for Youth Journalism International.