• Victoria Kain

Top Tips for Cardiovascular Health


In order to reduce the risk of heart disease and improve quality of life, follow the below 7 top tips to assist in the combat against heart disease!


1. Do Not Smoke - Smoking is the biggest cause of preventable deaths in the UK. Every cigarette smoked is harmful. Below are reasons why you should quit:-


After 20 Minutes:

Pulse rate returns to normal.

After 8 hours:

Nicotine and carbon monoxide levels in blood reduce by more than half and oxygen levels return to normal.

After 48 hours:

Carbon monoxide will be eliminated from the body. Lungs start to clear out mucus and other smoking debris.

There is no nicotine in the body. Ability to taste and smell improved.

After 72 hours:

Breathing becomes easier. Bronchial tubes begin to relax and energy levels increase.

After 2-12 weeks:

Your circulation improves.

After 3-9 months:

Coughs, wheezing and breathing problems improve as lung function increases by up to 10%.

After 1 year:

Risk of heart disease is about half compared with a person who is still smoking.

After 10 years:

Risk of lung cancer falls to half that of a smoker.

After 15 years:

Risk of heart attack falls to the same as someone who has never smoked.


If you need help quitting please visit:-

https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/quit-smoking/10-self-help-tips-to-stop-smoking/

https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/for-your-body/quit-smoking/stoptober/


2. Maintain a healthy weight – In addition to lowering the risk of heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure, it is also thought to lower the risk of many cancers.


To help gain a better understanding as to what you put in your body, I would recommend the app “MyFitnessPal”. This helps track your weight, makes you aware of what you are eating and provides great tips on how to eat better.


For further information, please visit:- https://www.myfitnesspal.com/


3. Engage in regular physical activity – By undertaking regular physical activity, you can reduce the chances of experiencing various diseases in later life such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer and early death by 30%.


Exercise should be a way of life, like brushing your teeth. It is free and the only cost is your time. The standard guidelines for adults exercising is 150 minutes moderate aerobic exercise, 75 minutes vigorous intensity or a combination of both. This can be broken down into 30 minutes exercise five days per week. It is also recommended that strength training be undertaken twice a week working all major muscles.


4. Eat a healthy diet – A healthy balanced diet is key to maintaining overall health, ensuring the body is nourished with the necessary nutrients and minerals to keep the body and organs functioning at the optimal levels required.


5. Manage blood pressure – High blood pressure often relates to an unhealthy lifestyle such as smoking, unhealthy weight, lack of exercise etc. Left untreated it can increase your risk of developing a number of health conditions such as coronary heart disease and kidney failure. In terms of low blood pressure this is less common and often related to dehydration or underlying conditions such as heart failure.


For further information on how to manage your blood pressure effectively visit:-

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/high-blood-pressure-hypertension/treatment/


6. Take charge of your cholesterol levels – Healthy cholesterol levels are vital for normal functioning of the body. High cholesterol does not usually have symptoms but can increase your risk of serious health conditions.


By managing your diet accordingly and taking into consideration a reduction of saturated fats this can help fight the risk of high cholesterol levels.


For further information visit:-

https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/lower-your-cholesterol/


7. Keep blood sugar or glucose at a healthy level – There are a variety of triggers which can increase blood sugar levels such as, stress, lack of exercise, illness, eating too much, taking certain medications, missing a dose of medication to treat diabetes etc.


Occasional mild episodes are not usually a cause for concern and can be treated quite easily or may return to normal on their own. However, hyperglycaemia can be potentially dangerous if blood sugar levels become very high or stay high for long periods.


Very high blood sugar levels can cause life-threatening complications, such as:


Diabetic Ketoacidosis - A condition caused by the body needing to break down fat as a source of energy, which can lead to a diabetic coma; this tends to affect people with type 1 diabetes.


Hyperglycaemic State - Severe de-hydration caused by the body trying to get rid of excess sugar; this tends to affect people with type 2 diabetes.


For further information on how you can treat and manage your glucose levels please visit:-

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/high-blood-sugar-hyperglycaemia/

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