World Heart Day

This World Heart Day we’d like to share some staggeringly scary information from the World Heart Federation. However, this isn’t the end of the story. We’re not here to scare you or spread doom and gloom like some media channels. Understanding how to live a heart-healthy lifestyle can hugely improve your health, well-being and quality of life.

The harsh truth

– Raised cholesterol is estimated to cause 2.6M deaths and is implicated in heart diseases and stroke.
– 1 in 10 cardiovascular deaths (globally) are caused by smoking.
– Those living with type 2 diabetes are twice as likely to die from heart disease and stroke compared to patients without diabetes.

What we can do

There’s a wide variety of factors linked to coronary heart disease and stroke, some of which may be hereditary or result from your lifestyle and environment. Depending on your circumstances, here’s a quick checklist according to the World Heart Federation:

– Exercise regularly
– Maintain a heart-healthy diet
– Don’t smoke
– Keep an eye on your body weight
– Reduce your blood pressure
– Control your diabetes
– Manage your cholesterol
– Take heart-protective medications as prescribed
World Heart Day
Know the age of your heart

The British Heart Foundation and the NHS have teamed up to bring you a new way to check your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

If you're 30 or over you can use this tool to know your heart age plus lots of advice about improving your heart health.

How healthy is your heart

Healthy habits in work

Creating a healthy routine for yourself when you work 37+ hours a week is not always easy. Whether you work at home or on-site, finding the time to exercise and eat healthily is easier said than done.

Heart Research UK has compiled a list of tips to work into your working week habits…

Integrate Structured Exercise
Taking some time to run at lunch, commute on your bike, or attend the gym before work, can all be great ways to not only maintain your fitness but also improve productivity at work.

Break it Up
Many of us will sit for long periods and therefore breaking this up with short bouts of activity can help to maintain a healthy cardiovascular system. Try setting a timer every hour to take a short walk around the house and cut down meetings from 60 to 45 minutes to give you a break in-between for some activity.

– Avoid Nearby Snacks
Having snacks on our desks or nearby can lead to mindless eating. If you do choose to have a mid-morning snack, opt for heart-healthy options such as unsalted nuts or fresh fruit, and use the break as an opportunity to get away from your desk.

Manage Your Time
It can be easy to get carried away with tasks that may not be a priority, which can lead to feeling overwhelmed and stressed. It can be useful to take 15 minutes at the beginning of every day to plan your time.

Manage your Energy
We can invest a lot of our mental energy into work which can leave us feeling burned out and de-motivated towards the end of the day, meaning we are less likely to sleep well, exercise and cook a healthy meal. Find out what time of day you work best and prioritise the completion of important tasks during this period and avoid scheduling back-to-back meetings where possible.

For more information, please visit the British Heart Foundation (BHF) or World Heart Federation.

Would like your questions answered? Visit the BHF Heart helpline. Call us on 0300 330 3311 (Phone lines are open 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday)

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