It’s Never Too Late to Improve Your Heart Health, even if you have been diagnosed with a cardiovascular condition.
Your cardiovascular health is really important. Many people understand the basics of good cardiovascular health; eating a balanced diet and regular exercise. However, far fewer people actually do what is required to keep their heart functioning correctly. And it is easy to understand why this is the case.
For most people, finding the time to juggle work, family and exercise is simply too difficult. Additionally, many people believe that for exercise to have any impact, it has to be intense and time consuming. Many believe that it is exercise only if you spend hours at the gym or in some other rigorous physical activity. However even moderate exercise, carried out consistently, is enough to make an impact.
A healthy lifestyle will make your heart healthier. Here are a few things you can do to look after your heart.
Give up smoking
If you’re a smoker, quit. It’s the single best thing you can do for your heart health.
Smoking is one of the main causes of coronary heart disease. A year after giving up, your risk of a heart attack falls to about half that of a smoker.
You’re more likely to stop smoking for good if you use NHS stop smoking services. Visit the Smokefree website or ask your GP for help with quitting.
Getting – and staying – active can reduce your risk of developing heart disease. It can also be a great mood booster and stress buster. Find out more about physical activity Here and if you are over 65 find out about being more active Here
Manage your weight
Being overweight can increase your risk of heart disease. Stick to a healthy, balanced diet low in fat and sugar, with plenty of fruit and vegetables, combined with regular physical activity.
Eat a balanced diet
A good diet is important for our health and can help us feel our best – but what is a good diet? Apart from breastmilk as a food for babies, no single food contains all the essential nutrients the body needs to stay healthy and work properly. For this reason, our diets should contain a variety of different foods, to help us get the wide range of nutrients that our bodies need. See more about a balanced diet Here
Drink less alcohol
Do not forget that alcohol contains calories. Regularly drinking more than the NHS recommends can have a noticeable impact on your waistline.
Try to keep to the recommended daily alcohol limits to reduce the risk of serious problems with your health, including risks to your heart health.
Managing stress and anxiety
Stress and anxiety are not direct risk factors for heart and circulatory diseases, but it’s possible that it may contribute to your risk level. It all depends on your coping mechanisms.
There is no evidence to suggest that stress causes coronary heart disease or heart attacks. But if you have coronary heart disease and experience feelings of anxiety or are under lots of stress, it may bring on symptoms like angina.
An important step in tackling stress is to realise when it is a problem for you and make a connection between the physical and emotional signs you are experiencing and the pressures you are faced with. It is important not to ignore physical warning signs such as tense muscles, feeling over-tired, and experiencing headaches or migraines. Once you have recognised you are experiencing stress, try to identify the underlying causes. Sort the possible reasons for your stress into those with a practical solution, those that will get better anyway given time, and those you can’t do anything about. Take control by taking small steps towards the things you can improve.