With Valentine’s Day coming up, we focus on affairs of the heart, our vital organ, pumping our blood 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, non-stop!
This is your engine, inside your very own high performance vehicle of your body.
It needs to be looked after, serviced & maintained well so it looks after you
Heart disease causes more than 25% of all deaths in the UK (source: British Heart Foundation). That’s 435 people every day or one every 3 minutes!
Male or female, if you don’t take care of your heart, you could seriously affect your life expectancy.
Do you smoke? | Smokers are twice as likely to have a heart attack than a non-smoker.
Are you overweight? | Being overweight or obese puts an enormous strain on your heart. Get some help & really make a difference to your heart health.
Do you have diabetes or another chronic health condition? | You are at higher risk but you may be able to reverse it, by making changes to your diet & lifestyle. Worth considering isn’t it?
Get Your Body Moving | Stay active & gradually increase your daily exercise. Boosts your energy levels, reduces the risk of Type 2 Diabetes, controls your weight and reduces blood pressure and the harmful cholesterol.
Get off the Couch! | You should look at how much exercise you do, realistically. Whatever that is, there is probably room to improve. Take it easy & increase gradually.
Get Some Support | You can download lots of ‘get fit in small steps’ advice and programmes, ask your GP or local gym. Pal up with a friend,neighbour or colleague & do this together or join a walking, running/cycling group.
Lay Waste to that Waist | This is the distance around your body, halfway between your lowest rib & your pelvis. It is not where your trousers waist band is or where your belly button is. Ideally, you should aim to keep your waist measurement less than half that of your height.
Healthy Blood Pressure | We all have blood pressure. It is needed to get the blood around your body, to do it’s job. It is highest when the heart contracts to pump the blood through to the arteires & lowest as it refills. What’s yours?
Manage that Cholesterol | This is a fatty substance carried in the blood by special proteins called lipoprotein. LDL (low density lipoprotein) takes cholesterol from your liver to the cells & HDL (high density) take it back to the liver for processing. Excess LDL could lead to arterial flow reduction and higher blood pressure. These risks are higher if the LDL is damaged or oxidised.
Boost Your Nutrition | Make small changes like increasing healthy fats (fish, nuts, seeds, avocado), eating more fibre/nutrient rich vegetables & dark berries as well as cutting down on alcohol.