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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.