06 Feb 4 Simple Tips For Heart Health
172,000 are living with heart disease in New Zealand and every 90 minutes someone dies from heart disease. These stats have really hit home with us this year and we are trying to raise awareness and help our patients and the wider Wanaka community improve their heart health starting today!
We have put together 4 simple things that you can do to help your own or a friend/family member’s heart health to help avoid a heart condition in the future. We know that sometimes our health falls to the side line when we are living busy, stressed lives so we have kept these tips simple and easy to adopt. Challenge yourself or a friend and see if you can take these on for February, if not longer term.
1. Exercise – Just 30mins of movement a day is all that it takes to improve your heart’s health. This can be walking, playing with the kids, gentle yoga or swimming. With February set to be a fine month, even if you don’t normally do anything, try and get outside for a short walk each day and make a conscious effort to run around with the kids or grandchildren every other day.
2. Healthy Eating – Summer is the perfect time to try to eat healthy and try to limit bad fats from your diet. Try to eat honestly, choosing foods that you know are going to make you feel good not heavy and tired. Try not to restrict your diet too much by following a strict diet depriving yourself of foods you love but eat in a way that shows you respect yourself. Swap bad foods for healthier alternatives and try to eat foods as close to their natural state as possible, whether they are raw or cooked. You will be amazed at how much difference a few small changes can actually make.
3. Stress Management – Sometimes with all the pressure we put on ourselves these days we do live highly stressed busy lives. Although it may be hard to eliminate stressors completely from your life you can choose how you manage that stress and how it affects your health. Try to give yourself a few options with regard to how you deal with stress. For example, you could try to reduce your too do list; say “no” every now and again to requests which come your way; get out in nature or just take time just to relax and chill at home with your family enjoying each other’s company.
4. Manage High Cholesterol – Have you had a Cardio Vascular Risk Assessment (CVRA)? This is a simple but effective way to learn what your risk of a cardiac event might be and is strongly recommended for men over 45 and women over 55. All it takes is short appointment with the nurse to collect screening data and blood samples. Your bloods are tested to measure your cholesterol level. If you are told you that you have high cholesterol we recommend that you talk to your doctor about your options. Sometimes medication is required. You can read more about effective cholesterol management here here: https://www.heartfoundation.org.nz/wellbeing/managing-risk/managing-high-cholesterol
If you are concerned about any heart issues or symptoms that either your or a friend or family member are experiencing then it is best to speak to your doctor as soon as possible.
For more information and full references you can visit the Heart Health website here https://www.heartfoundation.org.nz