Tips for keeping heart healthy
Keeping your heart healthy is important at any age, for both men and women. Though it’s often seen as a men’s health issue, in reality it impacts both genders and can happen at any stage of life.
From keeping on top of your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, to learning to understand the signs and symptoms of heart disease and training in CPR, there’s dozens of things you can do to stay heart healthy.
A good place to start is by looking at your own lifestyle. The NHS has a useful tool to help you determine your heart age, and with a few simple lifestyle changes you can do what’s in your power to keep your heart in good working order.
There are dozens of reasons to quit smoking if you haven’t already, and your heart is one of them: you’re twice as likely to have a heart attack if you smoke than if you don’t.
Exercise is an essential component of any healthy lifestyle, but in England only about 1 in 4 women does enough physical activity to protect her heart. Make sure you’re doing 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week.
Reduce belly fat
Carrying excess weight puts strain on your heart and make you more likely to have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, two risk factors for heart disease. Look in particular at excess weight around your abdomen.
Too much drinking and binge-drinking can damage the heart muscle. Watch your alcohol intake and make sure you stay within the recommended limits.
Balance your diet
A balanced diet is key to keeping us healthy and happy as we age. To be heart-smart, reduce your intake of salt, sugar and saturated fats.
Some studies suggest stress is a contributing factor to heart disease. Learning how to relax and manage stress can help lead to a healthier heart and a happier life.
Are you heart healthy? Share your experiences with heart disease in the comments below.
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