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Love Your Heart: Prevent Heart Disease

Health • by Natasha Butler • 18 February 2019
Healthy heart tips
There are many ailments and diseases that fall under the term “heart disease”, such as cardiovascular disease, which is when the arteries become clogged by plaque build-up that prevents essential oxygen and nutrients from reaching the heart.

Heart disease can put you at risk of heart attack which can lead to disability and even death. But there are measures you can take to mitigate or prevent this. Here’s what to do:

1 Stop smoking

Your arteries become narrowed due to plaque build-up from chemicals in tobacco, and carbon monoxide replaces oxygen which strains your heart as it has to work harder to supply your body with the oxygen it needs.

2 Check your weight

Due to increased body fat, an obese person has a higher volume of blood. Therefore, the heart becomes strained because it has to pump more blood. This can result in abnormal heart rhythms, leading to heart attack. Being overweight can also lead to diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol.

3 Maintain a healthy diet

Your body will get the nutrients it needs to keep it working optimally, so cut down on unhealthy foods and eat more fresh veggies, fruits and whole grains.

4 Move more

Exercise increases your oxygen intake, strengthens your heart, keeps your weight down and lowers cholesterol and high blood pressure.

5 Cut down on alcohol

An excess of alcohol can raise your blood pressure and lead to weight gain. It also weakens your heart, preventing it from pumping blood efficiently, leading to heart failure.

6 Manage your stress

When you’re stressed, your body releases adrenaline which causes you to breathe faster and your heart rate to escalate, causing your blood pressure to rise. Other bad habits that may result from chronic stress are smoking, overeating and excessive alcohol consumption.

7 Get enough quality sleep

Not sleeping enough interferes with your body’s ability to regulate its functions, leaving you at risk of developing diabetes and high blood pressure and becoming obese.

8 Get screened for:

• High cholesterol: fatty deposits that clog up your arteries, obstructing the flow of blood to your heart.

• High blood pressure (hypertension): when blood is forced against the inner lining of your arteries, damaging the cells, thereby putting a strain on your heart.

• Diabetes (high blood sugar): when the pancreas is unable to produce insulin which regulates blood sugar levels. This can damage your nerves, blood vessels and heart.

The old adage that prevention is better than cure truly applies here, because, once you have it, heart disease cannot be cured: your blood vessels will always be damaged and weak, leaving you at increased risk of heart attack. So love your heart and take care of it today.

Know your numbers with FeelBetterFast

Regular health screenings can improve your quality of life and prevent chronic health conditions such as hypertension, heart disease, diabetes and stroke.

FeelBetterFast offers the following health assessment tests done by a nurse or pharmacist:

Once the tests mentioned above have been taken, the nurse will provide you with a health report showing your numbers and how these could be improved with practical and medically-sound advice.

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