Prevention is better than cure. We take our healthy heart for granted until something goes wrong, so it’s never too early to start treating it well.
Did you know?
- Four times as many women will die from heart disease than breast cancer.
- Most of the steps you can take to reduce your risk of heart disease will also reduce your risk of breast cancer.
- Although it’s good to be aware of inherited risk factors that you can’t change, there’s things that you can change.
Heart health numbers you should monitor with your doctor’s help
- Blood pressure
- Blood sugar
The number you should monitor
- Over 80 cm is a risk for women. 94 cm for men. Although many focus on their weight, for heart health, whether you carry extra weight around the waistline may be the most important issue.
Things you can change
- Don’t smoke! If you do smoke, speak to your doctor. They can help you quit.
- The incidence of heart disease in those who drink moderate amounts of alcohol (no more than two drinks per day for men or one drink per day for women) is lower than in non-drinkers. However, with increased intake of alcohol, there are increased health dangers including high blood pressure, obesity, stroke.
- If your waist is above the numbers above you should think about an effective weight loss program. Most people think they know what they should be doing and eating to lose weight, but too many never actually lose weight. Don’t lose sleep if you’re struggling to lose weight by yourself. You may need help or to enrol into a program.
- Good nutrition. Achieving a healthy weight and waistline, plus improving your nutrition can happen at the same time. The ideal outcome is to achieve optimal blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
- Regular physical activity. There are two types to consider:
- Daily movement, like walking. Aim to accumulate 30 minutes a day or 10,000 steps.
- Structured exercise programs to improve fitness, strength, tone, and flexibility
The reasons many people are not active enough include:
- Low energy, often because their diet is not right for their body
- Excess weight, almost always because of their diet not being right for their body
- Lack of structured exercise program
- Incorrectly thinking that exercise programs take a lot of time. 30 mins twice a week can make a big difference!
- No comfortable and safe place to exercise
- No exercise support and guidance
- Haven’t discovered an exercise program that they enjoy