The key to a healthy, happy heart!13 Feb

The key to a healthy, happy heart!

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, we’d thought it seemed appropriate to do a little piece on keeping your heart healthy!

As you probably know, the heart is quite an important organ! It keeps the blood pumping throughout your body, ensuring  your whole body is supplied with it, so keeping your heart healthy is extremely important! There’s a number of ways you can improve your cardiovascular health, but the most important are diet, exercise, managing stress and taking care of yourself. So, what do you need to do?

Keep moving!

This may seem obvious, but that’s why it’s so important, and regular exercise is the key to a healthy heart and lifestyle! The NHS recommends that adults aged 19 – 64 do 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity a week. Moderate exercise includes cycling or fast walking, while vigorous exercise can be running, or playing sports such as tennis. It may sound a lot, but there’s a massive 10,080 minutes in a week, so 150 minutes of exercise nothing!

One of the most common reasons we hear for not exercising is that there’s no time for it, but we find that if you treat exercise as importantly as you would a doctors appointment or your weekly shop, then you’ll find it easier to make time for it! If motivation is really a problem then try working out with a friend or enlisting a Personal Trainer to ensure you get active throughout the week!

The goal in all this is to bring down your resting heart rate –  Your heart is a muscle so as it gets stronger the less hard work it needs to put in, and it’s a key indicator that your heart is fighting fit. Regular exercise will bring down your resting heart rate, so give your heart a break!

Try to stay relaxed – limit the stress!

Your heart is a great response system and can cope well with with stress, However, there are different kinds of stress, some of which your heart can interpret as threatening, and over time this can impact your health. As well as exercising to improve the health of your heart, try to limit stress as it’ll lower any prolonged strain on your heart. Plus, trying to de-stress is great for your mind as well as your body!

Quitting smoking

We all know that smoking can cause different health issues and many of these are heart related too. If you’re a smoker then you’re doing your heart a disservice, and you can really give it a boost by kicking the habit. Giving up isn’t easy but theres lots of help and support available to help you along the way! If you’re a resident of West Cheshire, then our health and wellbeing service, Cheshire Change Hub, can offer you free support and guidance to ensure you stop smoking and get on the road to a healthier heart.

Healthy eating, healthy heart

Your diet is also very important, if you’re not sure about nutrition don’t worry all it takes is a bit of research! Try and have a balanced diet and include all your food groups; carbohydrates, protein, milk and dairy products, fruit and vegetables and fats and sugars. It’s important to include the good fats in your diet not bad ones! Good fats can include; nuts, olive oil or coconut oil and avocados – all of these are great for your heart, and taste nice too!

So, there’s a few top tips for looking after your heart. Got any tips of your own? Share them in the comments below!

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