As we mark World Health Day this April 7th, 2023, it is important to remember the crucial role that heart health plays in our overall well-being. Heart disease is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, and maintaining a healthy heart is crucial for living a long and healthy life.
Here are Hope For Hearts’ top tips for maintaining heart health every day. By adopting these lifestyle changes, you can reduce your risk of heart disease and improve overall health and well-being.
1. Exercise regularly
Regular physical activity is essential for maintaining heart health. Exercise helps to improve blood flow, reduce inflammation, and lower blood pressure. It also helps to improve cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
You don’t need to engage in intense workouts to maintain your heart health. Simple activities like walking, cycling, swimming, and dancing can be highly effective in keeping your heart healthy. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise five days a week. 1
2. Eat a healthy diet
A healthy diet is one of the most important factors for maintaining heart health. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats can help to reduce the risk of heart disease. Avoid processed and high-fat foods and limit your intake of salt, sugar, and saturated and trans fats. 2
3. Quit smoking
Smoking is a significant risk factor for heart disease. It damages blood vessels, reduces oxygen supply to the heart, and increases blood pressure (hypertension) and heart rate (tachycardia). Quitting smoking can reduce the risk of heart disease and improve overall health. 3
4. Manage stress
High levels of stress have been shown to increase blood pressure, heart rate, and inflammation, all of which can contribute to heart disease. Finding ways to manage stress, such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercise are great ways to combat your risk. 4
5. Get enough sleep
Getting enough sleep is essential for maintaining heart health. Lack of sleep can increase the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity, all of which can contribute to heart disease. Aim for at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
6. Limit alcohol consumption
Excessive alcohol consumption can increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart failure, and stroke. Limiting alcohol consumption can help to reduce the risk of heart disease. Men should aim for no more than two drinks per day, and women should aim for no more than one drink per day.
7. Regularly check blood pressure and cholesterol levels
High blood pressure and cholesterol levels are significant risk factors for heart disease. Regularly checking your blood pressure and cholesterol levels through a routine health check-up can help to identify potential problems and allow for early intervention. Find a general practitioner or heart specialist close to you.
It is essential to make these simple strategies a part of your daily routine as a means of prioritising your heart health. By taking action every day, you can significantly reduce your risk of developing heart disease and enjoy a healthier, happier life for years to come. Remember, prevention is always better than cure, and the choices you make right now can have a significant impact on your future heart health.
Disclaimer This information is general and not conclusive. Follow any guidelines and advice from your doctor or specialist, health care, or multidisciplinary team, for your personalised patient-centred needs and care. Inquire about a patient advocate group regarding your specific needs. Call 000 if you are experiencing chest pain.
To find a GP or a Cardiologist near you, visit www.hopeforhearts.com.au
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