In honour of the month of love, we’ve put a focus on a health related topic close to our hearts – heart health!
Cardio vascular disease and heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in Australia, killing one Australian every 12 minutes, which makes establishing a healthy lifestyle as prevalent as ever.
Here are a few lifestyle choice and changes you can make to be on your way to better heart health today!
Your heart is made up of muscle, and like any other muscle, it needs to be constantly placed under a controlled level of stress in order for it to adapt and improve its functional ability to pump blood around the body. Participating in cardio vascular exercise puts this muscle under controlled stress, and will help you lower your blood pressure, reduce LDL cholesterol and boost HDL cholesterol.
In terms of maintaining a healthy heart its important to constantly challenge your heart rate with a progressive overload style of training. This means that your physical intensity is increased over time, as your fitness improves.
The Heart Foundation WA recommends thirty minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity (e.g. brisk walking) daily to prevent weight gain and cardio vascular diseases. However, challenging your heart rate regularly with high intensity forms of cardio vascular exercise is not only the best way to improve your level of fitness, but also assists in maintaining a strong and healthy heart.
Research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids decrease risk of arrhythmias (abnormal heartbeats.) Natural sources of omega 3 can be found in particularly fatty fish, such as salmon, walnuts and chia seeds.
Those who are genetically predisposed to heart conditions may want to look at supplementing their diet with omega 3 and fish oil capsules or liquid. We recommend Ethical Nutrients high strength fish oil, available in store.
CoEnzyme Q10 is a very important compound produced by the body for heart health, energy levels and muscle function. CoQ10 is responsible for providing oxygen to the heart among many other functions such as converting food into energy and activating the antioxidant vitamin E. CoQ10 is also found naturally in food such as meat, kidney, spinach and broccoli, however, supplementing your diet with a trusted pharmacist only brand of CoEnzyme Q10 capsules is the best way to ensure you’re getting your fix!
Learn to read food labels
Avoid foods high in trans fats. Processed foods such as biscuits, cakes and pastries are high in trans fats and should not make up more than 7% of your total energy intake, or around 16g. However, be wary of foods void of trans fat. Reduced fat dairy items such as yoghurt are often filled with sugar as a substitute, which is why education around this topic is key!
Tick is an initiative established by The Heart Foundation WA to help you make health-conscious diet choices. Tick, indicates that foods are lower in saturated fat, trans fat, salt and calories, and contains ingredients and nutrients that are better for you, like fibre, whole grains and vegetables.
Regular blood pressure checks
Regularly having your blood pressured checked by a GP or local pharmacist is the best and simplest way to stay on top of the state of your ticker!
For more information about heart health visit the Heart Foundation website, or subscribe to their e-newsletter and stay at the forefront of new information around research and initiatives encouraging good heart health!https://heartfoundation.org.au/support/get-our-e-newsletter