A Healthier Lifestyle leads to a Healthier Heart!
Did you know that cardiovascular disease is Irelands number 1 killer?If caught early many cases can be avoided.
Issues with your heart occur when the arteries become blocked by fatty material and narrowing occurs. Over time these arteries become blocked to the point that they cannot deliver enough blood and oxygen to your heart and brain which may result in a stroke or heart attack.
When it comes to maintaining your hearts health the first place to look at is your diet. What we eat greatly impacts our health and especially the functioning of our hearts. Look at what is currently in your fridge and kitchen cupboards and ask yourself if what you are eating is contributing to heart disease by elevating your cholesterol levels.
There are many great blogs out there to help get your heart back in shape but one blog which stands out is by a lady called Cathy and her blog is called Cathy eats! You can check out tons of healthy recipes designed for those who have been told they are at risk, or currently have heart disease here . Cathy’s story is inspiring for anyone who has been diagnosed with heart disease as she herself was diagnosed at a young age and has drastically changed her diet and lifestyle to maintain a healthy heart.
As the old proverb goes prevention is better then cure! And when it comes to prevention there are many things you can do to look after yourself and your heart. Some of the best ways to stay on top of your health is to be watching your alcohol consumption. Drinking too much can cause you to have high blood pressure which puts a strain on your heart and can lead to heart failure by weakening the pumping power of your heart which in turn puts a strain on your other organs.
Get Moving! Exercise can be part of the solution to treating cardiovascular disease. Exercise which involves a brisk walk for 30 minutes, three times weekly is a proven factor in reducing blood pressure. There are many gyms and courses now available in Ireland for those diagnosed with Cardiovascular disease. One of the first prominent activists in this field and still going strong are Dr. Noel McCaffrey. Checkout their website www.exwell.ie for further information. Exercise can also be a great way to help remove the stresses that may have built up over the course of the day. Long term stress can increase your cortisol levels in your body, which can lead to increases in in your cholesterol and blood pressure which are two main leading factors in heart disease diagnoses.
Try and stay warm. Cold temperatures cause blood vessels to constrict which in turn raises blood pressure and causes the blood to clot easier.
Dehydration can also negatively impact the condition of your cardiovascular system by decreasing your blood flow causing your heart to pump faster and your body to retain sodium. Drinking at least 2 litres of water daily can greatly benefit not only your heart but many other organs of your body also. Ensure that you drink little and often rather than the 2 litres in one session.
We have all heard the old saying that laughter is the best medicine and when it comes to your heart this could not be truer. Laughing is great at strengthening your heart by having the same effects as a cardio workout. Laughing decreases stress hormones in your body and as seen earlier in our blog we know how bad stress is for our hearts.
While its great to understand and practise the preventative measures of heart disease it is equally important to recognize the warning signs of a heart attack when they occur If you experience these signs and think that you may be having a heart attack call for help immediately.
Chest pain is the most common symptoms which we all recognise depicted by many an actor on our tv screens grabbing and grimacing their heart in pain. Chest discomfort can be in many forms such as tightness, squeezing, pressure and pain. You should never ignore chest pain even if it is not accompanied by any other symptoms.
Shortness of breath can occur due to the blood flow to the heart being interrupted due to blocked arteries.
Pains in your neck and shoulders that can travel down your arms and back is another sign you may be having a heart attack.
For some people, the feeling of exhaustion and having low energy levels in the weeks prior to having an issue with their heart has also been reported. If you are concerned about the health of your heart, make an appointment to see your doctor and get it checked out.
In the early stages of heart disease there may be no symptoms which is it why regular checks with your doctor is so vital and important. Prevention is the best cure! But only if indicators are detected early.