9th May 2018
Preventing Heart Disease
What Is Heart Disease?
Heart disease, also known as cardiovascular disease, covers a wide range of different disorders that affect the heart. There are many types of heart disease:
- Coronary Heart Disease: This condition is where your heart muscles do not receive enough blood and oxygen.
- Silent Ischemia: This condition is where the blood flow to your heart muscle is reduced.
- Angina: This condition is where your heart does not receive enough nutrients or oxygen.
- Heart attack: This is where part of your heart muscle may be damaged to do a blockage of blood flow.
- Heart Failure: This condition is where your heart is unable to pump enough blood to your body to meet its needs.
- Arrhythmia: This condition where your heart does not function normally, it can skip beats, become irregular and beat slow.
- Heart Defects: This is an obstruction that can both partly or ultimately block the flow of blood.
- Peripheral Arterial Disease: This condition is where the flow of ‘oxygen-rich’ blood to your legs and feet is blocked or reduced.
How Can We Prevent Heart Disease?
- Healthy Eating: If you can maintain a healthy balanced diet, you can improve your blood cholesterol levels. Eating foods in low saturated fat and sodium, eating plenty of fruit&veg, eating fibre rich foods, fish and low fat dairy products. Choosing to eat lean meat and not a lot of sugary, fatty foods, also this helps reduce and lower the risk of developing a heart disease.
- Staying active: Taking part in physical activities can help you control your weight and reduce your blood pressure. Exercise helps the heart work more efficiently thus reducing the risk of developing a heart disease.
- Your Weight: Maintaining a healthy body weight can decrease the risk of major health problems. People who are overweight or obese are more at risk of developing a heart disease; being able to lose and maintain your weight can reduce the risk of developing a serious heart condition.
- Smoking: Smoking increases blood pressure and lowers your exercise tolerance. It increases the risk of blood clots. Not smoking can be a huge benefit to your health, and it lessens the chance of developing a heart disease.
- Alcohol: Alcohol can cause a temporary increase in your heart rate and blood pressure. Long-term drinking can affect your heart muscle; it can become weak and result in on-going increased heart rate and blood pressure. Having an increased heart rate can cause blood clots and lead to a heart attack or stroke. Having an increased blood pressure can thicken the arteries and this can also cause a stroke or heart attack. Having a weak heart muscle can lead to developing a heart disease. It is strongly advised that you do not exceed the daily or weekly recommended units regularly.
- Stress: Stress can have an effect on your blood and cholesterol levels, causing increased cholesterol levels. Some people choose to smoke, drink alcohol and over eat to deal with their stress. Exercising and maintaining a positive attitude, enjoying a healthy diet and not smoking or abusing alcohol are all great ways to reduce and deal with stress.
There are so many ways you can keep active and healthy, while maintaining a good lifestyle, so that you do not develop any type of Heart Disease. Here are some things you can do daily to prevent yourself from developing a heart disease:
- Eat healthily: get your five fruits and vegetables a day!
- Maintain a healthy blood pressure by exercising
- Limit your calories, don’t exceed the amount of calories you can have in one day
- Reduce stress by making sure you get enough sleep
- Take part in exercise activities such as: aerobic, walking and swimming.
- Find an activity you enjoy, but also make it a challenge.
Even the little things you do make a huge difference to your health and well-being!
- How about a ten minute walk?
- Setting small goals makes a big change
Following the steps above will support you to prevent yourself developing a heart disease!