February is the month of love but it is also National Heart Month so we thought we would share some top tips on how to show your heart some love this Valentine’s Day.
Stop Smoking – 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 want to kick the habit, visit your GP today and get some support and help to make sure you kick the habit.
Get Active – Getting and staying active can reduce your risk of developing heart disease. It can also be a great mood booster and stress buster.
It is recommended that you do 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity every week. An easy way to achieve this target is by doing 30 minutes of activity on five days a week. Fit it in where you can, such as by cycling to work, taking the stairs, or getting out and going for a walk during your lunch break. Not only will this help you to be more active but it could also leave you feeling refreshed so you avoid the afternoon slump and reaching for the chocolates!
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.
It doesn’t have to be difficult. The trick is to keep it simple and make a few small changes at a time. There is no miracle diet – just a healthy balance of real, unprocessed food. You don’t need an expensive gym membership or complicated routine – just move more whenever you can. And look after your mental wellbeing too – avoid negative stress where possible and get adequate sleep.
Understand Your Blood Pressure – High blood pressure can affect our health by increasing our risk of stroke, heart disease and more. Yet we may be unaware that we have high blood pressure, as it may not cause us any symptoms. For that reason, the NHS recommends we get our blood pressure checked, particularly if you are overweight, smoke, have relatives with a history of high blood pressure, or if you are worried about health in other ways.
Remember even the smallest changes to your lifestyle can make a big impact on your health. If you are concerned about your health you should always contact your GP for medical advice.