Heart disease is the single leading cause of death in Australia. It kills 1 Australian every 12 minutes, with up to 80 people dying per day. Over 350,000 Australian’s have had at least one heart attack, with 54,000 suffering heart attacks each year. 1 in 2 men will develop heart disease as will 1 in 3 females.
National Heart Week is coming up, a fantastic time for everyone to consider their heart health. It’s also a great chance to see what risk factors you have and how you can make healthy changes that your heart will thank. Modifiable risk factors are those factors that you can change with some lifestyle changes. These include decreasing cholesterol levels, decreasing blood pressure, improving nutrition, quitting smoking and including more physical activity. Unfortunately, there are some non-modifiable risk factors, which are factors that can’t be changed. Factors such as a previous family history, age and gender are considered non-modifiable.
Here are our tips for a healthy heart!
Our healthy heart screening: We get that making time to see the GP when you are working full time can be inconvenient, but our healthy heart screenings can be done in the comfort of your office. We go through each risk factor with you and then do some quick tests such as cholesterol, blood glucose, blood pressure and waist to hip ratio to see where you are in terms of your likely risk of developing heart disease. For some people, this may be a real eye opener! It is common that people who have high blood pressure don’t know that they do. Our programs are a way for you to discuss new goals and objectives with your health and for our team to discuss your results with you.
Make your move: Exercise is key. Our bodies are designed to move. The heart also loves your heart doesn’t have to work hard to pump blood through. Exercise also is important for the health of your blood vessels as well. Exercise works as a vasodilator, meaning that your blood vessels relax during exercise. This is important for blood flow as constriction leads to the heart working harder which can increase blood pressure. Hypertension, or high blood pressure can be seen as warning bells! If left untreated it can increase your risk of stroke by up to 6 times! You may find it hard to find time to exercise, but walking for only 2 hours a week can decrease your risk of heart disease by up to 53%. Time to put on your walking shoes!
Eating Well: Did you know that up to 70% of heart disease cases can be averted with the right nutrition? By incorporating more fruit and vegetables in your diet will not only decrease your risk of heart disease, it will also help lower cholesterol, keep you fuller for longer and give you more energy. When we eat fatty foods in excess, our body doesn’t like it. The liver takes longer to process it, and fatty build ups such as plaque attach to the walls of arteries, putting more stress the heart and leaving the heart more susceptible to high blood pressure and heart attack.
If your organisation is interested in the Healthy Heart Screenings, get in contact with us today for more information.