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Five ways to look after your heart

Five ways to look after your heart

Our heart beats approximately 2.5 billion times over an average lifetime, ensuring our body has a steady flow of blood which carries a range of important things we need to survive, like oxygen, energy and hormones. It’s safe to say that our heart has a never-ending workload but sometimes it can fail and become damaged. Here we have put together five ways to look after your heart!

Stop smoking

If you are a smoker then one of the best things you can do for your hearts health is to quit smoking. According to the NHS, one of the main causes of coronary heart disease is smoking. After a year of giving up, your risk of having a heart attack falls to about half that of a smoker. There is a wide range of health benefits connected to quitting smoking from improving your lung capacity to improving fertility. Here we take a look at five ways to stop smoking!

Increase your activity

Being active can reduce your risk of developing heart disease and research has shown that people who aren’t active are more likely to have a heart attack than those who are more active. The NHS recommends that adults aged 19 to 64 should at least do 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity, such as brisk walking or cycling, or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity such as running or a game of tennis each week and strength exercises on two or more days a week.

Weight management

Being overweight can also have a negative effect on your heart and can increase your risk of developing heart disease. Excess weight and obesity are linked to having high blood pressure which is the leading cause of strokes. It may be tempting to go for a quick fix diet rather than making a lifestyle change and eating healthier. Here we look at a healthy way for you to lose weight.

Eat your five a day

Fruit and vegetables are packed with a range of vitamins and minerals and are a good source of fibre. Research has shown that eating fruit each day can lower your risk of developing heart and stroke problems by up to 40%. Fibre has also been proven to help lower our risk of heart disease and we should aim to eat at least 30g a day.

Reduce your salt and saturated fat intake

Salt is made up of sodium and chloride and it’s the sodium in salt that can have a negative effect on our heart. Consuming too much sodium can increase our risk of high blood pressure, which is one of the main cause of developing heart disease. The British Heart Foundation recommends that adults eat less than 5g of salt a day, which is equivalent to less than a teaspoon.

Meanwhile, eating foods high in saturated fat can also raise your cholesterol levels which is also a factor in increasing your risk of heart disease. Most saturated fats come from animal sources, including dairy products and meats. Foods high in saturated fats include fatty cuts of meat, butter, cheese, chocolate, cakes and cream.

Private Health Insurance

Private health insurance can also give you some peace of mind when it comes to your health and did you know that our Essentials Plus, Everyday Plus, Lifestyle, Lifestyle Plus and Elite cover can offer cover for treatment for cardiovascular conditions, helping keep your heart healthy. Get your free quote online today and see how we can help cover your health.

This content is subject to our Disclaimer.

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