Show your heart some love
It’s National Heart Month and Lent is almost upon us, what better time to show your heart some love!
Next week, were launching our Green Hearts Lenten challenge. We’ll have a free Green Hearts guide available to download from the website and a Facebook support group for support and guidance and to help keep you on track.
Did you know?
Your heart beats an average of 100,000 times per day. It is responsible for pumping blood through your body, carrying nutrients in and taking waste out, a kitchen tap would need to be turned on all the way for at least 45 years to equal the amount of blood pumped by the heart in an average lifetime. Having good cardiovascular health is an important factor of optimal physical and mental wellness.
Although we know that there is evidence of excess, and in some cases increasing, mortality among Irish men and women from coronary heart disease, hypertension and stroke, the good news is that we have an enormous amount of control over our personal heart health and by making a few simple changes to our daily routine we can help greatly improve the health of our heart.
Here are a few tips to help get you started:
• Get checked! As many as 7 million people in the UK are living with undiagnosed high blood pressure, without knowing they are at risk. High blood pressure significantly increases the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke and kidney disease.
Blood pressure readings can be quickly and easily carried out by your GP. The NHS Health Check is a health check–up for adults in England aged 40–74 designed to spot early signs of stroke, kidney disease, heart disease, type 2 diabetes or dementia. Find out more here
• Consume a well–balanced nutritious diet. Choose whole foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Some heart–friendly foods you can eat include fresh vegetables, nuts and seeds. Also, be sure to limit or eliminate refined sugars, which are mostly found in processed foods such as cakes, breads, condiments and fizzy drinks.
• Get plenty of high–quality omega 3 fats. Since the human body cannot make omega–3 fatty acids, we must get them from our diet or from good quality supplements. Omega 3 is essential for optimum hearty and brain health.
• Drink plenty of water every day.
• Get enough exercise. It improves not only your blood circulation, but your overall health as well.
• Maintain a healthy weight (by managing your diet, getting plenty of quality sleep and exercising more you can find your right weight naturally)
• Get plenty of high–quality, restorative sleep.
• Manage your stress. Although there is no direct link between stress and heart disease, stress may affect behaviours and factors that increase heart disease risk: high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, smoking, physical inactivity and overeating.
• Avoid smoking or drinking alcohol excessively.