Love your heart – 8 tips for a healthy heart
The heart is a symbol that drives Valentine’s Day and the month of love. So, we propose that this year you focus on taking care of and loving your heart. From consuming your 5 a day to cutting down on salt; there are many simple things you can do to aid a healthy heart. To get you started, here are eight tips we love.
- Become active
It is advised that everyone should aim to do at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise on five days of the week. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to hit the gym or go sprinting. Cycle to a store near you on Saturdays or play a round of soccer with your kids, friends or even your dogs. Make becoming more active more fun.
- Know your BMI
Managing your weight can go a long way in increasing heart health. Your BMI (Body Mass Index) is a measurement of your body fat based on your height and weight. You can generate your BMI on a calculator found online or simply work it out by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in metres. Take that answer and divide it by your height again to get your BMI.
- High 5 a day
Whenever possible, try and consume at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables a day. This ensures that you consume a variety of vital nutrients and vitamins. Mix it into a tasty fruit or vegetable salad or chop your favourite five veggies or fruit into pieces and enjoy it for lunch at work.
- Increase your fibre intake
Hearts love a healthy dose of fibre. Soluble fibre reduces the absorption of cholesterol in your intestines. Fibre is found in a variety of food sources such as wholemeal, wholegrain cereals and plenty of vegetables and fruit.
- Take it with a pinch of salt
High salt intake can lead to high blood pressure so it’s always best to keep your pinches to a healthy limit when cooking or enjoying your meal. Be wary of high salt levels in ready-made foods and processed foods as well.
- Enjoy fish
Fish such as sardines, fresh tuna, mackerel and salmon all contain a healthy source of omega-3 fats which can help protect against heart disease.
- Say no to too much alcohol
High alcohol intake does not only lead to a host of problems and dangers, just like your favourite take-away meal, it can lead to weight gain which as a whole is bad for your heart. It is advised that you stick to the recommended daily alcohol limits.
- No smoking
Did you know that smoking is the leading cause of coronary heart disease? There’s no need to go cold turkey or struggle on your own. Speak to your doctor and ask him or her for assistance and advice on how to stop smoking.