Matters of the HEART, especially in the time of COVID-19.

Healthy Heart At Home - For Your SweetHeart

Coming from my blog post last September about the “For Your SweetHeart” global campaign on raising awareness on the critical link between Type 2 Diabetes and heart disease, I am sharing yet again more helpful information about this sickness. In fact, when I attended this virtual event, it opened my eyes even more on the rising cases of diabetes here in the Philippines.

Data from the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) reveals that in 2020 alone, nearly 4 million Filipinos are afflicted with diabetes. 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. 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 launched.

Healthy Heart at Home

Part of the “For Your SweetHeart” campaign urges Filipinos to get moving and exercise amid home quarantine with an activity dubbed as “Healthy Heart At Home,” an online fitness class conducted by top fitness coaches Jim and Toni Saret which I happily joined.

Healthy Heart At Home - For Your SweetHeart - Jim and Toni Saret

This heart-pumping, low-impact cardio online class, is designed to share key information to the general public about Type 2 diabetes and heart disease connection using a more fun, interactive, and engaging approach.

Most of us are staying at home, either working from home, doing online school or just taking care of the household for the past 8 months. And while this may be a good measure to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, it also leaves us susceptible to a sedentary lifestyle that could pose a big danger to one’s overall health, including an increased risk of diabetes.

Dr. Ayi Faller, President of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists – Philippine Chapter, briefly shared facts about the critical link between Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

“Patients with diabetes are two to four times 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. Ayi Faller, President of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists – Philippine Chapter

For Your SweetHeart campaign ambassador and TV personality, Kuya Kim Atienza, shared a personal message as well.

Healthy Heart At Home - For Your SweetHeart - Kuya Kim Atienza

“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 Atienza

Coaches Jim and Toni then led the fitness class featuring low-impact cardio exercise routines that can be easily done at home. You can do it alone or encourage everyone in the household to join you.

Healthy Heart At Home - For Your SweetHeart - Yen Dreyfus and Max
Excited for this low impact workout with my PAW-rsonal assistant! 😉

“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.

Healthy Heart At Home - For Your SweetHeart - Yen Dreyfus

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).

To learn more about the campaign, please visit 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, which requires details of the patient’s total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and systolic blood pressure.


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