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Prevent Heart Disease with this Essential Health Advice
This entry was posted on 02/02/2015.
Did you know that the single biggest killer in the UK is coronary heart disease? You could have high blood pressure or cholesterol without being aware of it. We’ve all heard that it can be the ‘silent killer’; some of us just don’t recognise the signs detailed below.
Along with the US, the UK is one of the leading countries for obesity. A third of all children in the UK are obese or overweight, putting them at greater risk of heart disease in the future.
Fortunately we are beginning to recognise the effects and causes of heart disease and are taking action. Deaths from heart disease fell by 38,000 in the UK between 2000 and 2007. Over half of these saved lives were due to reducing blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
What is Coronary Heart Disease?
The coronary arteries supply your heart with oxygen-rich blood; this is where heart disease starts. When ignored the arteries become blocked with fatty deposits, making the artery narrower. This makes it even more difficult to deliver the oxygen-rich blood to your heart. The lack of blood causes angina - discomfort and pain in the chest are symptoms of this. Ignoring angina allows blood clots to form; when a piece of fatty deposit in your artery breaks off. If the clot blocks the coronary artery, the heart is then starved and this will lead to a heart attack.
You are susceptible to Coronary Heart Disease if:
- You are overweight/obese
- Eat too much salt
- Don’t perform enough exercise
- Lack of fruit and vegetables in your diet
- If you smoke
- Drink too much alcohol
- If your caffeine consumption is high
Unfortunately, you may be prone to heart disease if you have any of these attributes:
- A blood relative that has high blood pressure
- African or Caribbean descent
- If you are 65 or older
There are ways you can reduce the risk of heart disease. These include changing a few of your lifestyle habits. Looking to change your habits doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself! Our blog on 6 Tips to Boost Your Immunity this Winter has some great ideas.
Ways you can prevent heart disease
It’s all very simple really, just take one or all of these steps:
Eat a balanced diet
We’ve all heard that we need a healthy balanced diet and it’s true! Your diet should be low in saturated/trans fats and high in fruit and veg. Five hand sized portions of fruit and veg per day is enough. Try choosing those that are vibrant in red colours as these reduce the risk of heart disease. Fish, poultry, eggs, nuts, beans and seeds are high in the protein, vitamins and minerals that are important for your body to function properly.
Try to do 30 minutes of exercise a day
It’s all good and well having a balanced diet, but if you are adopting the life of a couch potato you won't see many benefits! Staying active is incredibly important and 150 minutes of cardio activity a week is the recommendation. That's just half an hour of walking, 5 days a week! Being in the outdoors in the fresh air can really benefit your stress levels and well being, not just your heart. Exercising regularly helps you sleep better and focus more in your daily life.
Pay attention to your weight
We know that some people can find it difficult dealing with their weight. A healthy weight can really help cut back your risk of heart disease by lowering your blood pressure and cholesterol. Not only is maintaining a healthy weight great for your heart; if you lose just 10% of your body weight, you will automatically improve your pelvic floor muscles by up to 50%!
Monitor your blood pressure and cholesterol
If you've been told that you have high blood pressure, or suspect that you might have it, then it's important to check it regularly. This is easy to do with a blood pressure monitor like the Beurer BM40 Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor. It's a good idea for all of us to find out our levels of cholesterol - this is easy to do at home with a test like the CholesterinCHECK Cholesterol Test.