Your heart weighs a few hundred grams and beats around 100 000 times a day! A healthy heart is a happy heart, vital to your well-being! You can keep your heart healthy by following healthy habits and checking up on it regularly so you can detect and manage any problems!
Your hardworking heart needs love and care
Cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of death in South Africa and across the world. But, up to 80% of cardiovascular-related premature deaths in people under age 65 can be prevented through a healthy lifestyle!
How to keep your heart healthy?
- Eating healthy foods such as fruit, vegetables, wholegrains and lean proteins
- Moving! Exercise is great for your heart, especially if you exercise regularly
- Keeping calm and avoiding too much stress! Find ways to relax and enjoy moments of downtime and me time!
- Drinking alcohol in moderation or not at all
- Not smoking
- Following any treatment plans prescribed for heart or other health issues, such as taking blood pressure medication as prescribed!
You can find more heart healthy habits on the Heart and Stroke Foundations of South Africa’s website.
Your heart health checks
Living a heart-happy lifestyle will help your heart, but things can go wrong! It’s important to have regular health checks to make sure there are no problems. Four of the most important health metrics to check are:
- Blood pressure
- Blood glucose levels
Your pharmacy, GP or clinic can check these, or you can have them checked at a wellness day at your workplace.
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These are basic screening measures, and if you have any numbers outside of the healthy range your GP or health professional may suggest further tests or a plan of action! Which will be in your interests and your heart health to follow! You should get these tests done annually so you can detect any problems as early as possible!
Good to know: There are many ways to manage any problems with your heart and heart disease, especially if detected early!
Warning signs your heart is not happy!
Your heart is incredibly strong and hardworking, but it can run into trouble! Warning signs of a heart attack include:
- Unexplained chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling lightheaded or dizzy
If you experience these or have concerns, visit your GP or clinic or an emergency room to get them checked out.
Love your heart
Your heart appreciates even the smallest improvement in your lifestyle! Why not adopt a healthy heart habit today and make a big difference!