Staff member in Cath Lab in scrubsStaff in scrubs in the Cath LabStaff in scrubs in the Cath Lab


Looking after our hearts this Valentine’s Day

A/Prof Omar Farouque holding a red paper heart. In the background are other Austin Health staff making hearts with their hands.

14 February 2022

What better day to draw attention to heart health than Valentine’s Day?

Austin Health’s Director of Cardiology, A/Prof Omar Farouque, is a specialist in mending broken hearts.

This Valentine’s Day, we want to highlight how as little as 30 minutes of movement a day will benefit us not only now but in the future.

Heart disease is a leading cause of death in Australia.

“We all know the benefits of exercising. It is beneficial not just for the cardiovascular system but in terms of mental health, joint and muscle health,” says A/Prof Farouque.

“Specifically for the heart, it’s important because we know there is lots of data now indicating that regular exercise can lower the risk of future cardiovascular complications. Things like heart attacks are reduced in the future.”

“Research shows that a sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of heart disease. A simple exercise routine like walking outdoors for 30 minutes each day can provide immense heart health benefits, as it helps your heart work better.

“If you can’t walk for 30 minutes a day in one session, you can always break it up into 10 or 15 minute segments at a time.”

It’s something easy in a sense, it doesn’t require the intake of medicines. It’s something we can do in our own time. It can be whatever form it takes, so long as we do it regularly that’s what’s important.

“Anyone who does this can expect it to be a benefit to them. Not only do they feel better when they do it, there’s also tangible benefits in terms of their heart health in the future.”

As member of the reigning champions, Vigorous Ventricles - A/Prof Farouque is one of the many leaders from across our hospital who has committed to participating in Austin Health’s 1000 Minute Challenge again this year.

The event asks participants to complete 1000 minutes of exercise in the month of March (just over 30 minutes a day), and is designed to encourage staff, their families and the wider community to improve their health and raise funds for additional medical equipment.

You can sign up for the 1000 Minute Challenge today.