Five ways to look after your heart

February isn’t just the month of love, it’s National Heart Month and with Valentine’s day around the corner, we want to focus on heart health. Did you know, our heart beats approximately 2.5 billion times over an average lifetime? That’s kind of a big deal!

The heart sends blood around the entire body which carries a range of important things we need to survive, like oxygen, energy and hormones. Our heart has a massive job, so it’s important to look after it to prevent any damage.

Here we have put together five ways to look after your heart:

Stop smoking

If you are a smoker, quitting is one of the best things you can do for your heart. According to the NHS, one of the main causes of coronary heart disease is smoking.

Good news is, a year after giving up smoking reduces your risk of having a heart attack to about half that of a smoker.

There are plenty of other health benefits connected to quitting smoking including improving your lung capacity to fertility. Here we take a look at five ways to stop smoking!

Get moving

Research shows that people who aren’t active are more likely to have a heart attack than those who are more active. By simply getting up and moving, your heart will thank you for that. The NHS recommends that adults aged 19 to 64 should do at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a week, this can include a brisk walk or cycling.

Watch what you eat

Being overweight can also have a negative effect on your heart and can increase your risk of developing heart disease. Excess weight is linked to high blood pressure which is the leading cause of stroke. Maintaining a healthy weight can be easily achieved by a few lifestyle changes. Here are a few healthy ways you can lose weight.

Eat your five a day

Fruit and vegetables are a great source of vitamins, minerals and fibre. Research has shown that eating fruit each day can lower your risk of developing heart and stroke problems by up to 40%. For adults, a portion of fruit or vegetables is 80g, which is equivalent to a handful of grapes, one medium apple, banana or pear, three heaped tablespoons of peas or two spears of broccoli.

Reduce your consumption of salt and saturated fat

The sodium in salt can have a negative effect on our heart, consuming too much of it can increase our risk of high blood pressure! The British Heart Foundation recommends that adults should aim to eat less than 5g of salt a day, which is just about a teaspoon.

Meanwhile, eating foods high in saturated fat can also raise your cholesterol levels which is also a factor in increasing your risk of heart disease. Watch out for processed, fatty meats and some dairy products including cheese and cream as these foods can contain saturated fats.

Private Health Insurance

When it comes to health, private health insurance ultimately gives you peace of mind. Our Essentials Plus, Everyday Plus, Lifestyle, Lifestyle Plus and Elite policies can offer cover for treatment for cardiovascular conditions, helping keep your heart healthy. Take a look at our website here and get your free quote to see how little Private Health Insurance could cost you!