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A Healthy Heart

green and red healthy foodCardiologists and other medical professionals have long known that positive lifestyle changes can greatly improve heart health. Preventive measures can include ensuring a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, not smoking and reducing stress. No matter what form of heart disease you have, or are at risk of developing, there are many things that you can do to help yourself live healthier, longer and reduce your risk.

Healthy Eating

Healthy eating is all about balance whilst enjoying a wide variety of foods. It will help to reduce the risk of developing heart disease and protect your heart if you already have a heart condition.

We all know what food to avoid, or to have in moderation- saturated fat, fast food, processed foods, alcohol to name a few. A healthy diet may not help save your life but it will keep you leaner, happier and much heartier!

Tips for a hearty healthy diet

  • exercise-2Eat a variety of nutrient-rich foods. Your daily food selection should include bread and other whole-grain products; fruits; vegetables; dairy products; and meat, poultry, fish and other protein foods
  • Eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. Ideally you should eat 2-4 servings of fruit and 3-5 servings of vegetables per day
  • Drink lots of water. Minimum of 8 glasses per day
  • Eat moderate portions regularly. This will help to maintain a healthy weight
  • Switch full fat products to low fat
  • Try to avoid foods with saturated fat, fast foods and foods that are high in sugar and fat

For healthy and easy recipes and an easy guide to a healthy diet refer to

‘When we really love ourselves, everything in our life works’

Exercise

exerciseDid you know that people of all ages are 50% less likely to get cardiovascular disease they exercise! Exercising provides long term benefits not only for your heart health but your general health too. It helps control your weight, reduce blood pressure and cholesterol and improve your mental health – helping you to look and feel great.

Tips for a healthy and easy way of incorporating exercise into your life:

  • Exercise for 30 minutes a day. This can include taking a brisk walk, using an exercise machine or treadmill, or even take the stairs! Anything to get your heart rate up!
  • Make it fun. Watch tv, listen to music while on a treadmill, take up a dancing class. Get a partner, it is much more fun exercising with someone and that way you can motivate each other
  • If you don’t have time, then fit in 5 or 10 minute blocks throughout the day. Park your car a little further away from your appointment. Walk instead of taking the car for short distances – it all helps!
  • Be realistic and start slowly. Pushing yourself too hard too soon can be dangerous and you may lose motivation
  • Stretch before and after exercising. This increases flexibility and prevents injuries
  • Ask your doctor to write a prescription for your exercise program, such as what type of exercises to do, how often and for how long
  • Make it a habit

To be directed to physiologists, who can help with rehabilitation and exercise while living with a chronic heart condition please click here.