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Heart Health and Getting Active

It’s never too late for lifestyle changes.

Our campaign on Heart Health during February’s National Heart Month has helped us to understand the complex issues surrounding heart condition and cardiovascular diseases (CVD).

Taking part in our Balanced Lives programmes is a good way to reduce the risk of heart problems, as physical activity and simply getting active for 30 minutes per day can bring huge health rewards.

Dr Lesley Hayward Top Five Tips

Doctor Lesley Hayward from Action For Elders shares these tips and advice for a healthy heart:

  1. It’s important to know your risks – tell your health care professionals if you have heart disease in the family.
  2. Don’t worry about the risks you cannot change (age, ethnicity etc). Look at the risks that you can change.
  3. Have a health check when offered. This may detect high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes. All of these conditions can be controlled by lifestyle changes and/or medication as advised by your health care professionals.
  4. You can check your Blood pressure at home, in a pharmacy or at the GP surgery each year between health checks.
  5. It’s never too late for lifestyle changes!

Lifestyle changes to help your heart

  1. Do more exercise/ physical activity – join the Balanced Lives programme
  2. Stop smoking and avoid passive smoking
  3. Eat a healthy diet to include the following:
    • Low salt
    • Less alcohol
    • Choose healthier fats
    • More fruit and vegetables
    • Not too much meat or dairy
    • Avoid sugary foods

Reducing Stress

Lesley also advises that it’s also important to learn how to reduce stress.

Our Mobility Lead David Lipka has some practical examples of how we can use breathing to reduce stress on the heart and build resilience. See his two videos here in our Home Exercises section.

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The benefits of physical activity

Read our page to find out how much and what type of physical activity is good for you and to help you to get started.

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