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International Women's Day 2023

Have you been prioritising your health?

It can be easy to take your health for granted. Maybe you find yourself staying up late for work, or skipping breakfast to drop the kids off at school, or sitting down for long hours at a time to tick off a task. But at the end of the day, there’s nothing more important than taking care of your body and putting your own wellbeing first. 

Your heart health is one area especially worth paying attention to. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women both in Australia and globally. This refers to a wide range of conditions affecting the heart, including heart attack, heart failure, and valvular disease. The Heart Research Institute reports that 109 Australian women have an acute coronary event—such as stroke or heart attack—every day. 

While certain risk factors like ageing and family history can’t be controlled, there are still a number of factors you can change to reduce the risk of heart and circulatory-related conditions. Here are just a few things to add to your daily routine for a happier, healthier lifestyle: 

  1. Eating a balanced, healthy diet. Ensuring that your daily food intake includes plenty of vegetables, proteins, healthy carbohydrates, and healthy fats is a good start to boosting your heart health. Foods like eggs, salmon, leafy greens, berries, and avocados in particular are shown to be great for strengthening the heart. It’s also recommended that you cut down on foods high in sugar and sodium, which can raise your total cholesterol. 
  2. Staying active. Going for a brisk thirty-minute walk, run, swim or bicycle ride every day can help you stay ahead of heart health problems. Not only do these exercises improve circulation, which results in a lowered heart rate and blood pressure, but they also help prevent obesity. 
  3. Getting enough sleep. Studies have shown that inadequate sleep can contribute to high blood pressure and increased risk of heart disease. No matter how busy you are, your heart wants consistent sleep, so it’s vital to aim for at least six hours of sleep each night and to stick to a regular sleep schedule. If you’re having difficulty sleeping well, consider cutting back on coffee, avoiding artificial light within a few hours of going to bed, and ensuring that your sleeping environment is dark and quiet. 
  4. Checking your heart health. While this is often neglected, regular blood pressure and heart rate checks are key to keeping up with your heart health. High blood pressure (hypertension) can lead to severe health complications like heart attack, heart disease, and kidney problems, but usually has no symptoms or warning signs, so you don’t want to wait until it’s too late. 

To empower our patients on their journey toward a healthier lifestyle this International Women’s Day, Melbourne Heart Care is offering free blood pressure and heart rate checks for all women on March 8th 2023 at our Brighton and Moorabbin clinics. Simply call us on 03 9592 2177 to book your complimentary heart rate check today.

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Dr Emily Kotschet interview

Dr Emily Kotschet was recently interviewed by Luke Darcy -host of The House of Wellness. The fascinating interview was aired on Sunday Sept 20th, 2020.

Emily provided great insight into the symptoms and treatment of Atrial Fibrillation (AF). Check out the interview here:

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Dr Stuart Moir and Echo Tech Michelle Anderson devised a barrier method

Echo staff and patients safety

For the protection of our patients, staff and broader community, due to the spread of Covid-19, Melbourne Heart Care’s Dr Stuart Moir and Echo Tech Michelle Anderson devised a barrier method to improve safety for sonographers and patients during echo studies at our Holmesglen Private Hospital rooms last Thursday. This barrier method combined with a mask, hand hygiene and patient screening has been suggested as a means of preventing droplet spread, we hope this will reduce the risk to our staff and patients during this crisis.

Echo Tech Michelle Anderson devised a barrier method
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Staying Healthy During The Festive Season

It’s that time of year when our well-intentioned healthy habits fall by the wayside because of all the festivities. So how do we go about maintaining a healthy lifestyle and not let our previous 11 months of healthy habits disappear down the plug hole.

Keep on track with your workouts

Treat your exercise the same way you would an important meeting. It’s easy to skip your workout because of an indulgent evening the night before. If you find you have missed your gym class or morning walk because of a sleep in, then reschedule it as you would an important meeting.

Set yourself some limits

Be mindful of the number of alcoholic drinks, make a conscious decision before you go out to set a limit on the number you will have and be mindful of this throughout the evening. If you have a plan then you stand a better chance of achieving it. No plan means you will most likely consume more than you would have preferred and apart from it not being good for you, it will affect you the following day. Perhaps even take the car so you don’t drink at all.

If there is food on offer, again set yourself a limit, stick to your normal healthy habits and choose fresh fruit and veg over chips and dip or better still have your normal healthy meal before your go out.

Have a departure time in mind, so you know when you plan to leave otherwise your evening will continue longer than is necessary resulting in lack of sleep and/or excess alcohol etc.

Make up for it

Have fun. It’s Christmas after all so you should still enjoy yourself. If you find that you have had a couple of big nights out then don’t stress over it, make up for it. Do an extra workout or stay longer at the gym, cut back on some of your “sometimes food” to make up for it. Remember that a small glass of wine (150 ml) is about the same number of calories as two Tim Tam biscuits. Which means an extra 15-20 min of moderate to fast passed exercise to burn off that one glass of wine. (a bottle of wine would equate to roughly 1 ½ hrs extra of moderate to fast passed exercise on top of your usual routine)

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