Keeping Your Heart Healthy

Keep Your Heart Healthy 

An adult heart beats about 60 to 80 times per minute. The beating sound your heart makes is caused by the opening and closing of its valves. A human heart is roughly the size of a large fist. Yet, this muscle carries a tremendous responsibility – to pump enough blood to deliver a continuous supply of oxygen and other nutrients to your brain and the other vital organs.

Approximately 9000 people die each year from cardiovascular disease (CVD) - including coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke and other circulatory diseases, with CVD being the most common cause of death in Ireland, accounting for 36% of all deaths.

Your heart needs care. It is never too early to start working on keeping your heart healthy.  

If you sit down for most of your day, smoke and drink one too many, you have habits that are bad for your heart. Belly fat is particularly bad for your heart. Even losing a small amount of weight around the waist will contribute to a healthier you. 

Here are Our Tips on How to Make Your Heart Healthy: 

  1. Be Active. 

Regular exercise improves your emotional and physical well-being. It also reduces the risk of high blood pressureheart attack and stroke. You don’t need to join the gym to become healthier. There are other ways to keep fit. Go for a walk or a jog. Walk your dog in the forest. Swimming, dancing, running, or playing with your kids – choose an activity that you enjoy! 

  1. Eat Heart-Healthy Foods 

We are what we eat. How many times have you heard that expression? Food is much more than what is on our plates. What you eat can either protect you or increase your chances of getting heart disease, or having a stroke. It would be best if you aimed for a well-balanced, heart-healthy diet.

  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, especially leafy green vegetables such as kale, spinach, lettuce, swiss chard, and cabbage 
  • Berries are packed with essential nutrients that play a central role in heart health
  • Cut down on saturated fats and foods containing trans fats that can be found in fried foods or takeaways, snacks and biscuits 
  • Don’t have too much salt as it can increase the risk of developing high blood pressure
  • Incorporate walnuts and other nuts into your diet 
  • Chia seeds and flaxseeds are great sources of heart-healthy nutrients, including fibre and omega-3 fatty acids
  • Next time you’re making tea, choose green tea that is associated with many health benefits

Some heart heathy recipes are available here.

  1. Dump Tobacco for Good 

If you’re a smoker, you need to know that smoking is bad for your heart. It is one of the leading causes of coronary heart disease. Stopping smoking reduces your risk of heart disease and stroke. 

Take the first step towards your smoke-free life. For more information, contact our pharmacists at Higgins Pharmacy Sligo. 

Stress Management 

When you are stressed, you are more likely to be less active and eat less healthy. Stress can lead to weight gain, anxiety, diabetes, and ultimately to a heart attack. There are many ways to relieve stress. Yoga, meditation, and exercise are just a few activities that can help your stress management. 

  1. Keep Your Blood Pressure in Check 

Our blood pressure is the amount of work that our hearts have to do. 

High blood pressure is estimated to affect almost one million people in Ireland. Know your blood pressure numbers and make changes to protect your heart. Prevention is key!

Here at Higgins Pharmacy Sligo, we offer a free blood pressure check in our Market Cross store. Give us a call to make an appointment. 

We also have a 24 hour blood pressure monitor service which monitors your blood pressure continuously over a 24 hour period. Further information is available here.

  1. Sleep 

You may wonder how heart and sleep are connected? Sleep is essential for a healthy heart. If you don’t sleep enough, you are at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease. 

A good night’s sleep is advice to take to heart. 

You don’t have to jump on all these healthy tips at once. Incorporate them one by one into your lifestyle, and your heart will be thankful.  The heart is the beating centre of your body. Mind your heart and live a healthier life. 

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