Your heart powers your whole body. It lets you love, laugh and live your life to the full. That’s why it’s so important to look after it. If you don’t, you’re putting yourself at risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), which includes heart disease and stroke. CVD is the world’s number one killer, but the good news is that much CVD can be prevented by making just a few simple daily changes, like eating and drinking more healthily, getting more exercise and stopping smoking. So as the World Heart Day awaits us exactly a week from today on the 29th, let’s make sure we all take action to keep our hearts charged and make a lasting difference to our health.
Here are a few ideas for staying heart healthy not just one day but throughout the year:
1. Eat Healthy
Eating healthy doesn’t mean having to give up all the foods that taste good to you. Think about it in terms of moderation, and try to stick to a low-fat diet that’s also high in fruits and vegetables; low in salt, saturated fats and refined sugars; rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants; and incorporates whole grains.
2. Stay Active
Living a sedentary life can lead to serious health problems, from obesity to diabetes to heart disease. You don’t have to run marathons. Walking, gardening, high- or low-intensity exercise classes, cycling and swimming are among your many options. Our experts recommend 30 minutes of exercise a day to maintain a healthy weight and keep your heart strong.
3. Get Regular Check-Ups
Seeing your doctor on a regular basis is key to early detection of many diseases. Be sure to tell your doctor about changes in your health or new symptoms. Also, if you have diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol, follow your doctor’s advice. And take any prescribed medications. You can control these conditions and doing so can help prevent heart disease.
4. Stop Smoking
Smoking doubles your risk for a heart attack. Non-smokers who live with smokers also face increased risks. If you smoke, quit. If you live with someone who smokes, encourage them