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Are You Doing Enough to Keep Your Heart Healthy?

To celebrate World Heart Day, we discuss some simple ways to maintain a healthy heart.

Image - © World Heart Federation

World Heart Day takes place on 29 September every year and the 2020 campaign is themed around the message 'Use Heart … for society, your loved ones and you'. Created by the World Heart Federation in 2012, this global campaign aims to raise awareness of cardiovascular diseases, which take the lives of 17.9 million people every year, according to the World Health Organisation. That’s a staggering 31% of all global deaths. The World Heart Federation believes that at least 80% of premature deaths from heart disease and stroke could be avoided if people took individual action to control risk factors.

Following the simple advice below can help ensure that your heart stays strong and healthy. Support the campaign by spreading their #UseHeart message and help raise awareness of this important issue. 

Eat healthy 

We all know we should be eating our five a day but eating a wide variety of fresh fruit and vegetables can be difficult during a busy working week. There really is no getting around it though, they’re the best source of vitamins, minerals and fibre. Adding more nuts to your diet is also a great way to help your heart. Almonds, pistachios, walnuts, brazil nuts, pecans, macadamia and hazelnuts are all packed with essential nutrients and are a great source of fibre. Why not replace your mid-morning tea and biscuits or your cheeky afternoon snack of chocolate or crisps with a handful of nuts? Likewise, milled flaxseeds are a great source of fibre and are high in Omega-3 fatty acids, which help lower cholesterol. Another great source of Omega-3 is oily fish like salmon and mackerel.

Stay active

This has been a challenge for many of us, especially during lockdown. But you don’t have to be able to run marathons or tackle triathlons in order to reach a healthy level of fitness. Even just two-and-a-half hours a week of gentle aerobic exercise like cycling or brisk walking can help to keep your heart healthy. If you spread that out over five days, that’s only 30 minutes a day! Consistency is the key; regular exercise for shorter periods is much more beneficial than longer bursts with days of inactivity in between.

Quit smoking 

It’s undeniable. Giving up smoking is the single best thing you can do for your heart. It’s easier said than done though, and we appreciate the difficulty of quitting for good. You’re much more likely to succeed with professional support. Thankfully our beloved NHS has a number of strategies that can help you kick the habit once and for all.

Drink responsibly

Let’s admit it, most of us drink more than we should, but we’re not here to judge you. Alcohol consumption has risen dramatically during the pandemic and that’s completely understandable, we’re living in uncertain times. Trying to calculate the number of units you’re drinking can also be confusing, especially when drinking at home. If you are concerned about your drinking, try to have a few days a week without any alcohol at all, rather than going full cold turkey. Taking small steps towards a healthier heart can still get you there.

We can offer nutrition advice, assess your fitness levels and design a tailor-made exercise programme to help you maintain a healthy heart.

Call us on 0203 893 5100 or book an appointment online.

#ultrasportsclinic #physiotherapy #osteopathy #sportsmassage #biokinetics #washyourhands #wearamask #WorldHeartDay #UseHeart

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