The Health Ministry announced in a press release that it has joined forces with various sports bodies of Mexico City Government, Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) and private sector to launch the 2015 campaign ‘I swim 4 my heart’, which will take place from 9 to 14 February. The strategy aims to raise awareness among the public about heart care through physical activity, as well as helping combating the obesity epidemic that Mexico faces, which affects more than 48 million Mexicans above 20 years.
Dr. Eduardo Jaramillo Navarrete, Health Ministry’s General Director of Health Promotion, said in a press conference that overweight and obesity are linked directly with an inadequate diet and sedentary lifestyles. He said the Federal Government established the National Strategy for Prevention and Control of Overweight, Obesity and Diabetes in order to combat this public health problem, and is based on action and joint responsibility between the social, public and private sectors.
He mentioned that data from the World Health Organization (WHO), place physical inactivity as the fourth risk factor for mortality and the first cause of breast and colon cancers in 25 percent of the cases. It also represents the main cause in 27 percent of diabetes and 30 percent of heart disease cases.
Therefore, WHO has recommended that children from 5 to 17 years perform at least an hour of exercise daily, either moderate or vigorous. For the age group between 18 and 64, the recommendation is to get at least 150 minutes of aerobic physical activity per week, adding 75 minutes of vigorous exercise. As for adults over 65 years, 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week is advised.
Furthermore, Jaramillo Navarrete said that 22.4 million adults over 20 years suffer from hypertension in Mexico. This is why the role of this campaign is crucial, because it will seek to raise awareness about the health risk factors as well as build a preventive approach around the country.
Ivan Sisniega, president of the Foundation ‘We Want Active Mexicans’, explained that four out of five Mexicans have sedentary lifestyles. He explained that situation should be tackled by strengthening the promotion of physical activity, until it becomes an indispensable habit in citizens’ life.
He added that the campaign will take place at more than 100 pools of the different participating sectors. First, it will consist in performing a blood pressure check to all participants, measuring their waist circumference and taking their Resting Heart Rate. If an anomaly is detected, the person will be transferred to a medical service. Then, after the health check, participants must swim a distance of one thousand meters.
The invitation is open to all people, and it is expected that will be attended by approximately 25,000 people.
Source: Secretaría de Salud (Mexico’s Ministry of Health)