01 February 2019
You’re probably sick of hearing ‘eat well’ and ‘exercise more’ to reduce your risk of practically all health related illnesses. So, let’s talk about how easy it is to incorporate these into your daily routine without having to make huge lifestyle changes for World Heart Month this February.
There are certain risk factors you can’t change when it comes to a healthy heart such as age, gender and family history, but what you can do is live a heart-healthy lifestyle and ensure you attend regular screenings if doctors determine you’re at risk.
Don’t wait for a diagnosis to change your lifestyle – your heart plays too much of an important role in your everyday functionalities. Keep in mind that your heart NEVER stops.
Here come the dreaded words… eat well. A few simple changes to your everyday routine can make a huge difference. With your morning tea or coffee, have one sugar instead of two, or even better don’t have any. Avoid sugar-loaded desserts. If you’re really craving something sweet, try one of the following alternatives:
- Dark chocolate – the higher the cocoa content, the less sugar (eat moderately)
- Fresh fruit – naturally sweet and full of goodness
- Greek yogurt with cinnamon or fruit
Be careful with so-called ‘healthy’ processed snack foods. Snacks such as granola bars or dried fruit contain a surprisingly high amount of sugar. To avoid this, look out for ingredient labels that say ‘100% fruit’. Alternatives include a handful of nuts, hard-boiled egg or fresh fruit.
The second dreaded phrase… ‘exercise more’. Some people are lucky enough to fall in love with exercise, for others it can seem more of a chore than anything else. However, it can be easier to incorporate into your routine more than you may think. Schedule exercise like any other appointment, even if it’s 15 minutes at a time. Park further away from work and walk the distance or go for a walk with your friends rather than a coffee. However, whatever form of exercise you take, build up slowly to prevent you overwhelming yourself which is likely to result in giving up.
Finally, it’s important that you don’t ignore your stress levels. This is just as important as the exercise and eating well. Meditation or yoga may do the trick for you, or even listening to your favourite artist or reading a good book.
Keep your heart healthy. Lifestyle changes are not easy, but baby steps are better than no steps at all. Go at your own pace and find pleasure in feeling healthier.
Cardiovascular disease (heart attacks and strokes) is one of the leading causes of death in the UK and worldwide. In the UK, one in three deaths is attributable to cardiovascular disease. By ensuring a healthy lifestyle, as discussed above, one can significantly reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes, despite having a strong family history.
Dr Ghuran is a highly trained consultant cardiologist with extensive experience in all aspects of adult cardiology. He offers a comprehensive and individualised treatment plan to meet patients’ expectations. A big part of this is to listen to the patients and explain clearly, in basic terms, in a way that the patients and their families can understand. Consultations are a two way collaborative process, with the patients’ needs always at its centre.
To book in to see Dr Ghuran today please call: 01582 714 420.