Tips for keeping your heart healthy
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