February… The month of celebrating love but also the month we take time to focus on our heart health.
Our hearts affect every part of our bodies. That also means that diet, lifestyle, and our emotional well-being can affect our hearts. Emotional and physical health are both important for maintaining a healthy heart.
Because our hearts are crucial to our survival, it’s important to keep it healthy with a well-balanced diet and exercise, and avoid things that can damage it, like smoking.
Here are 5 simple and effective ways you can look after your heart health.
No Smoking, More Living!
There are many ways you can improve your overall health and avoiding tobacco products is one of the best.
Smoking is one of the main factors in weakening the heart. In fact, according to the HSE:
“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.”
If you’re a smoker, quitting the cigarettes is one of the best things you can do for your heart health and your bank balance.
There’s never a wrong time to stop smoking and start living!
For more info on quitting smoking click here.
Sleep can reduce the chance of developing cardiovascular disease.
According to the national sleep foundation people who don’t sleep enough are more at risk of developing cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease. Research suggests that you must have at least 7/8 hours of good quality sleep in order to reduce the risk developing such conditions.
Although this is still developing research, it is thought that lack of sleep disrupts underlying health conditions including blood pressure and inflammation.
Which kind of all makes sense, after all our bodies repair while we sleep.
If you have problems sleeping you can contact your local McCauley pharmacist an they can advise you on the best forms of treatment.
Some of our favourite sleep supplements include:
Start Moving and Get Active!
One of the easiest ways to improve your heart health is by getting active. This can be as simple as taking the stairs, cycling to work, getting off the bus a stop earlier or giving yourself a daily step challenge.
It doesn’t have to be hard, it’s just important that we get the body moving and the heart bumping!
The HSE recommends that by doing 30 minutes of exercise over 5 days (out of the 7) a week you can reduce your risk of getting heart disease as well as boosting your mood. Win win.
30 minutes of exercise, like jogging, 5 days a week is a great way to reduce the chance of heart disease
And if like many at the moment you are WFH at a desk all day, remember to take breaks to stand up and move around. Go for a walk / jog to clear the head and get some fresh air or pump some iron with some mini home workouts.
We recommend giving yourself a 10k a day step challenge to get moving and get a friend involved! You can add each other on your Fitbit accounts and keep up to date your each other’s daily steps for some healthy competition. See our latest range of Fitbit’s here.
And if you’d prefer to do some home workouts, we recommend Let’s Bands sets for effective results!
OR if you fancy having a bit more fun, stick some tunes on loud and have a dance around the house! Not only will you be raising your heart rate and getting your lungs pumping, you will also be getting those positive vibes flowing – dancing is a great mood booster! AND another plus… you burn up to 200 calories or more per hour, reports the Mayo Clinic. WIN WIN WIN!
Take a good supplement
Research suggests that taking a good quality supplements containing omega-3s could also have a positive impact on your heart and your health. Taking omega 3 has plenty of proven benefits to your heart. It helps to lower your blood pressure, and cholesterol, thereby supporting your heart health. By taking a supplement every day you may help to decrease the chance of heart disease.
Our range of heart health supplements can be found here and we recommend the following:
Be Health and Happy!
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle goes hand in hand with maintaining a healthy weight and healthy diet, and this in turn reduces the risk of conditions including heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Did you know that if you cut down on salt, you reduce the chance of increasing your blood pressure? Equally, by cutting down on the amount of saturated fat you consume, you lower the risk of your cholesterol levels increasing in your blood, which is a contributing factor to heart disease.
Eating a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids help reduce the risks of heart disease. Many fish, such as salmon, tuna, sardines, and herring, are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Try to eat fish at least twice a week.
And don’t forget your 5 a day! Having 5 portions of fruit and veg each day, you’re providing your body with the nutrients it needs. In fact, research carried out by the British Heart Foundation found that nitrates present in green vegetables, such as kale and spinach, can help widen blood vessels and thin the blood, in turn, reducing the risk of a heart attack and stroke.
We suggest juicing as a great way to ensure you’re getting your 5 a day!
If you have an concerns about you heart health you can drop into your local McCauley Pharmacy and chat to one of our pharmacist
Find you local McCauley Pharmacy HERE.
Did you know about these fun facts about the heart?
- The average heart is the size of a fist in an adult.
- Our hearts will beat about 115,000 times every day.
- Your heart pumps about 2,000 gallons of blood every day.
- The heart can continue beating even when it’s disconnected from the body.
- Whales have the largest heart of any mammal.
- Most heart attacks happen on a Monday.
- Christmas day is the most common day of the year for heart attacks to happen.
- It’s possible to have a broken heart. It’s called broken heart syndrome and can have similar symptoms as a heart attack. The difference is that a heart attack is from heart disease and broken heart syndrome is caused by a rush of stress hormones from an emotional or physical stress event.
- Death from a broken heart, or broken heart syndrome, is possible but extremely rare.
- Laughing is good for your heart. It reduces stress and gives a boost to your immune system.