Central Coast News
Simple Steps to a Healthy Heart
Helping raise awareness for heart disease on Feb 14th
This Valentine’s Day, Heart Research Australia invite you to Wear Red for someone close to your heart – a family member, wife, husband, or that special friend who means the world to you, or in memory of someone you loved who sadly passed away due to heart disease.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in Australia, with 19,766 deaths attributed to heart disease in Australia in 2013. Heart disease kills one Australian every 27 minutes!
What is heart disease?
Heart disease is an umbrella term for a range of conditions that affect your heart including blood vessel diseases, such as coronary artery disease; heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias); and heart defects you’re born with (congenital heart defects), among others.
The term ‘heart disease’ is often used interchangeably with the term ‘cardiovascular disease’. Cardiovascular disease generally refers to conditions that involve narrowed or blocked blood vessels that can lead to a heart attack, chest pain (angina) or stroke. Other heart conditions, such as those that affect your heart’s muscle, valves or rhythm, also are considered forms of heart disease.
Who is at risk?
90% of Australians have at least one risk factor for heart disease. The more risk factors for coronary heart disease you have, the greater your chance of developing it.
The good news is that for most risk factors, you can do something about them.
Risks you can control
- High Blood Pressure
- Being inactive
- Being overweight
- Unhealthy diet
Risks you can’t control
- Age: As you get older, your risk of heart disease increases.
- Gender: Men are at higher risk of heart disease. Women’s risk grows and may be equal to men after menopause.
- Ethnic background: People of some origins (e.g. from the Indian sub-continent) have higher risk. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have more risk because of lifestyle factors.
- Family history: If someone in your family has cardiovascular disease, speak to your doctor about your risk.
Prevention is the best! 8 in 10 cases of premature heart disease and stroke are preventable through healthy lifestyle behaviours.
Simple Steps to a Healthy Heart:
Keep moving: Exercise has many benefits beyond simple fitness and flexibility. It stimulates the body’s immune system, reduces blood thickening so it clots less easily, improves brain function and lowers blood pressure. Exercise can even prevent some forms of cancer.
Eat wisely: Good nutrition extends beyond just controlling your intake of cholesterol, calories and sugar. A healthy and balanced diet where moderation is always a consideration is crucial for good heart health.
Keep track of your health measurements: This includes cholesterol levels, blood pressure, weight, sugar levels, waist circumference and exercise capacity.
See your GP regularly: A close relationship between the family doctor and this topic will optimise the way good health is measured and monitored.
Be positive: Many studies show your state of mind can protect, as well as damage heart health. Important risk factors that may lead to heart disease include stress, anger and depression.
WEAR RED FOR THOSE CLOSE TO YOUR HEART
Help raise awareness for heart disease on Feb 14th! National Wear Red Day
However you choose to shine in red, take photos and share them using the hashtag #WEARREDDAY
Keep your heart in check, make an appointment with your GP today!
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