Tips for keep­ing your heart healthy

Stockport Times West - - SENIOR CARE -

HOME In­stead, a com­pany pro­vid­ing care for the el­derly in their own homes, is mark­ing Na­tional Heart Month in Fe­bru­ary by shar­ing tips for a healthy heart... CUT down on salt. Too much salt can cause high blood pres­sure, which in­creases the risk of de­vel­op­ing coro­nary heart dis­ease.

Avoid foods like crisps, salted nuts, canned and packet soups and sauces, baked beans and ready meals. Many break­fast ce­re­als and breads that ap­pear healthy also con­tain high lev­els of salt, so be care­ful with th­ese. WATCH your diet. A healthy diet can re­duce the risk of heart dis­ease and in­crease chances of sur­vival af­ter a heart attack.

Try to eat a bal­anced diet with plenty of fresh fruit and veg­eta­bles, oily fish and starchy foods such as whole­grain bread, pasta and rice. GET ac­tive. The heart is a mus­cle and needs ex­er­cise to pump blood ef­fi­ciently around the body.

Keep­ing fit im­proves men­tal health and well­be­ing too. MAN­AGE your weight. The num­ber of peo­ple who are over­weight in Bri­tain is ris­ing fast.

Car­ry­ing ex­tra weight as fat can af­fect your health and in­crease the risk of life-threat­en­ing con­di­tions such as coro­nary heart dis­ease and di­a­betes.

If you are over­weight or obese, start by mak­ing small but healthy changes to what you eat and try to be­come more ac­tive.

GET your blood pres­sure and choles­terol lev­els checked.

Peo­ple with high blood pres­sure run a higher risk of stroke or heart attack.

High lev­els of choles­terol in the blood can lead to fatty de­posits in coro­nary ar­ter­ies that in­crease the risk of coro­nary heart dis­ease, stroke and dis­eases that af­fect the cir­cu­la­tion.

Lower your choles­terol level by ex­er­cis­ing and eat­ing high-fi­bre foods such as por­ridge, beans, pulses, lentils, nuts, fruits and veg­eta­bles.

CHECK your fam­ily his­tory.

If a rel­a­tive is at risk of de­vel­op­ing coro­nary heart dis­ease from high blood pres­sure, high choles­terol, lack of phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity, obe­sity and di­a­betes, you could be at risk too.

MAKE sure you can recog­nise the early signs of coro­nary heart dis­ease.

Tight­ness or dis­com­fort in the chest, neck, arm or stom­ach which comes on when you ex­ert your­self but goes away with rest may be the first sign of angina, which can lead to

a heart attack if un­treated.

To make a sug­ges­tion for a fu­ture topic, email david.moore@ home­in­stead.co.uk or call 0161 480 0646.

David Moore, owner of Home In­stead Stock­port

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