Did you know that heart disease is the biggest killer of Australian men and women? According to the Heart Foundation, it kills one Australian every 12 minutes, with 43,964 deaths in 2012.
However, this frightening statistic doesn’t mean it needs to be your fate. While you might not be able to control some risk factors – such as your age, family history and gender, you can take some simple steps to minimise your risk.
- Eat Healthy: Make sure you eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, wholegrains, beans, legumes, nuts, fish and lean meats. Limit processed foods containing fats, added salt and added sugar.
- Quit Smoking: cigarette smoking is a major cause of heart attack, stroke, peripheral arterial disease and abdominal aortic aneurysms, all of which are forms of cardiovascular disease. A smoker’s risk of heart attack reduces rapidly after only one year of not smoking.
- Exercise: Your heart is like any other muscle and can be trained to be stronger and work more effectively. National health guidelines suggest you do at least 30 minutes of exercise per day.
- De-Stress: Take some time out from work for a short walk or stretch. High levels of stress can lead to increased blood pressure and other health risks.
- Go Easy on the Alcohol: Keep it to two drinks or less per day – your heart will love you for it.
- Control Your Blood Pressure: High blood pressure usually has no warning signs or symptoms, therefore it is important to have regular blood pressure checks.
- Watch Your Weight: Overweight people tend to have higher blood pressure and higher cholesterol, which are both major risk factors for heart attack.
- Control Your Cholesterol Levels: When extra cholesterol is accumulated in the blood vessels, it can restrict the flow of blood around the body. They blocking of blood vessels may lead to a heart attack or stroke.
To help you keep your heart healthy, we’ve packaged the above information into an A3 infographic poster as well as a SlideShare Toolbox Presentation (See below) for you to share with your friends and colleagues.
If you would like more advice on how to keep your heart healthy, feel free to chat to our Health and Wellness team. You can reach them on HW@sonichealthplus.com.au.
Sonic HealthPlus More Healthy Hearts from Sonic HealthPlus