Heart Health Month

Back in February of 2019, we introduced our focus on heart health and especially, our alignment with Heart Research Australia and their Wear Red Day. Both in store and online, the month of February was a swimming success and well received by fans and customers alike. I also took the opportunity to open up about my own personal issues with heart health, sharing with you all the story of my recent diagnosis with Coronary Heart Disease, and the recent surgery I’d had to check the health of my own heart. 

My surgery, 2019. 

Now 12 months on from not only our campaign, but my diagnosis, it is my pleasure to welcome you all to February 2020, and to continue the vital conversations and knowledge sharing that is needed to help improve the heart health of our fellow Australians. 

Heart disease is the single leading cause of death in Australia, killing one of us every 30 minutes. Luckily, prevention really is the best medicine, and our aim at Padbury Pharmacy, this and every month, is to continue to share with you the best health, care and advice, and the ways in which you can support your own heart and prevent long term damage and disease. 

Cardiologist, Dr Edward Barin, has created the 4M approach to heart health, laying out four simple steps which we can all aim to incorporate in our daily lives to support living with a healthy heart. 

Move. It’s recommended we get ourselves up and physically active for a minimum of 30 minutes each day. Exercise and being physically active can have so many benefits for your health and well being, and allows us to manage one of the many factors of heart disease; being overweight or obese. I personally love a game of midweek soccer! Social sports are a great way to get a weekly dose of high intensity activity plus they support a healthy mind, keeping you social and mentally refreshed in the company of your teammates.  

Since my diagnosis last year, I have also incorporated weekly gym sessions with my Personal Trainer and have a newfound appreciation for Pilates, each offering different results and levels of challenges. 

If joining classes or gyms is not within your time or budget limitations, one of the simplest ways to keep a happy heart is WALKING! It can be done anywhere, at anytime, and 30 minutes of walking per day can help to manage weight gain and keeps the blood pumping through the all important muscle, the heart. The Australia Heart Foundation has a fantastic walking initiative which allows you to register as a solo walker or find a walking group near you for some extra inspiration! Hit the link here to find your closest walking group and register now. 

Meals. Being smart with our diets is always going to work in our heart’s favour. By dieting, I don’t mean short term fads and phases for weight loss. Your heart is with you for the long term and so should your healthy eating habits. Educating yourself on the right types of foods for your body is key. Consistency in a balanced diet, when paired with regular exercise, can help to eliminate numerous risk factors for heart disease. I have always considered myself a relatively healthy eater, but since my diagnosis last year I took the steps to consult health professionals such as my GP and PT on the best options for a healthy daily diet. Even your friendly Padury Pharmacists are able to offer you educated diet advice, so head in store if you’d like to know more. 

Measurements. A simple and consistent tracker of your body measurements is a great way to manage and recognise when something is either working well, or cause for concern. Keeping track of things like weight, cholesterol and blood pressure can help to optimise the way your heart health is checked and treated. At Padbury Pharmacy we are able to undertake free blood pressure checks in store, with no appointment needed! I encourage you all to make this a priority this month, and even more, a goal for 2020; monthly blood pressure checks. 

Mental Approach. Studies show that factors like stress, anger and depression can have a negative impact on our hearts, so identifying triggers and techniques to manage these are key to a healthy heart for life. As a father of two, running a business full time and juggling a heart disease myself, I understand that ‘managing stress’ is easier said than done. However, take the time to find the things that work for you, whether that be a yoga class, some simple meditation, a walk in nature, or a weekend away, and remind yourself to use these tools when your body and mind endures stress and anxiety. 

After an extremely busy Christmas and New Year period, both personally and at Padbury Pharmacy, I recognised the need for some down time with my wife and kids. We took a small trip down south for 5 refreshing days of sunshine, swimming and quality togetherness, and on our return I found my mental state to be better than ever. 

 Speaking of the Pharmacy, February is a big month for us and I am so pleased to share with you a little insight into what you can expect to see. 

Just as we turned pink for Breast Cancer, we will be turning red for Heart Health! Both in store and online we are actively using the red to help start the important conversations around our heart health, and to generate awareness for Heart Research Month. 

On Friday, February 14th we will be Wearing Red for Heart Research! Last year’s Wear Red Day was a huge success so we are bringing it back this year and encourage not only our staff, but our customers to join in too. 

In store our focus is very much on the products and services we can offer you to assist in your own heart health journey. We have teamed up with Blackmores to highlight some of the products which you can incorporate into your daily life to better your own heart health and we encourage you to head in store and speak to our team about which ones could work for you. Some of my preferred products include: 

Blackmores Natural E 1000IU. This capsule contains antioxidant Vitamin E and free radical scavenger, which helps to protect your cells from free radical damage, otherwise known as unstable atoms in your body which can cause illness and aging. The natural Vitamin E present is also more easily absorbed than synthetic, and can help to maintain a healthy cardiovascular system. 

Blackmores SuperStrength CoQ10 300mg. This soft capsule contains a potent dose of coenzyme Q10, an antioxidant enzyme that is found naturally concentrated in the heart muscle. CoQ10 300mg helps to maintain your cardiovascular health and function, enhances blood vessel health and helps to maintain healthy blood lipids. 

Blackmores Omega Triple Super Strength Fish Oil. This capsule, when taken daily, offers a great source of naturally derived omega-3’s, offering triple the omega-3’s than standard fish oil tablets. Omega-3’s are essential for regular health and can assist with maintaining heart, skin, eye and brain health, as well as having an anti-inflammatory effect, helping to relieve symptoms of mild joint arthritis. 

I also recommend the use of Enliva, a daily natural supplement to support your cholesterol health. Enliva works with good bacteria which help to break down bile salts made from cholesterol in your body. Enzymes from the bacteria in Enliva help with the breakdown of internal bile salts and can assist people in keeping their cholesterol within the regular range. 

My team of specialised pharmacists and I would be happy to speak with you regarding the products which could work for you. Why not also take advantage of our FREE in store Meds Checks, where one of our team members can conduct a review of your current medications to ensure your prescriptions and complementary products are not negatively interacting with one another, and ultimately compromising your health. 

Last but not least, what would Padbury Pharmacy be without having a little prize up for grabs? To support our continued goal of getting the community up and moving, and continuing to focus the conversation on living healthy, this month we are giving away a FitBit! The conditions of entry are simple; just share your healthy heart approach with us on any of our social media channels to get yourself in the draw! We’re talking about your gym selfies, your post run tomato face selfies, a screenshot of your daily steps tracker at the end of a busy day, a video while you’re on a walk, or basically ANY WAY you can think to share your activity with us. Tag, post or mention us on your social media platforms to go in the draw! 

My team is as excited as ever to be a part of this campaign on a topic that is really so close to our hearts. If you have any questions or wish to discuss your own heart health this, or any, month, please visit us in store at Padbury Pharmacy and let’s have a chat! 

Thanks, Steve.