Heart Week 2018: The ‘Wonder drug’ for heart disease only 7% of Aussies know about

But this so-called super drug doesn’t cost a thing…

You might've heard some scary stats in your time regarding heart disease – namely that it's the single biggest killer of Aussie women.
In fact, women are almost three times more likely to die from heart disease than breast cancer.
Scary, right?
But while it's never easy to fully comprehend such bleak figures unless you're directly affected, it seems most of us are oblivious to the rather simple risk-reducing technique that's staring us right in the face.
New research released for Heart Week (29 April to 6 May 2018) by the Heart Foundation found that only a tiny percentage of Aussies (7%) could readily identify the number one benefit of physical activity: the fact it can reduce diseases and illness.
Now to Love spoke to said Heart Foundation National Spokesperson on Physical Activity, Adjunct Professor Trevor Shilton about this rather startling statistic.
"Our research shows that most Aussies are aware they should be more active, and that physical activity is generally good for their health and wellbeing. However, the majority don't readily recognise the relationship between regular physical activity and reducing their risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease," says A/Prof. Shilton.
"This is a shame because evidence shows that physical activity really is a wonder drug and the easiest thing you can do to improve your health. If exercise was an actual drug, people would be flocking to buy it!"
Heart Week Ambassadors Lucy Turnbull, Deborah Hutton and Tim Robards
The benefits of 30 minutes of physical activity (including brisk walking!) a day can reduce the risk of heart disease by a whopping 35%.
But it doesn't stop there: It can also help manage depression and anxiety, reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and some cancers and lower the risk of dementia later in life.
If you've been hit with a case of the guilts you're currently not doing enough exercise, you're certainly not alone. Less than half of Australians believe they do enough physical activity to be healthy.
A/Prof. Shilton says one of the easiest ways to get active is by involving someone else whether it be going for a walk with a colleague, a jog with a girlfriend or simply walking the dog.
"The Heart Foundation has a free walking club you can join or you can download an app and join in that way. The most important thing is to just get out there and do it."
This message fits in perfectly with the Heart Foundation's aptly named 'Don't Get The Sits' campaign which launched on Monday.
2018 Heart Week Ambassadors Lucy Turnbull, Deborah Hutton and Tim Robards did the Sydney Harbour BridgeClimb to launch the campaign and encourage people to get active.
Lucy Turnbull called it "a great achievement before lunchtime" that "demonstrates that physical activity doesn't have to be boring or hard work."
With such compelling evidence, it's time for all of us to heed this advice: 'Don't Get The Sits!'