February - National Heart Month

Welcome to the latest edition of Senior Snippets: the monthly advisory column with the older members of our community in mind, brought to you by Irene Hough and Anthea Pilkington Director’s of Home Instead in Southport, Crosby and Formby.

February is National Heart Month and the most important thing you can do to help and prevent heart disease is to keep your heart healthy and working to the best of its ability.

Here are some hints and tips to help:

Watch your diet. A healthy diet can help to reduce the risk of developing heart disease, and can also help increase the chances of survival after a heart attack. Try to eat a balanced diet every day, incorporating foods from each food group. Fruit and vegetables, balanced amounts of carbohydrates

And plenty of whole grains are a great way to start the day.

Stay active. The heart is a muscle just as much as the rest of your anatomy. Therefore it needs exercise to help increase its durability and to effectively pump blood around the rest of your body.

Not only does staying active throughout the day help your body function, it also helps in your mental capacity.

Manage your weight. Managing your weight can be a challenge, but with the number of people who are becoming overweight increasing in the UK, it has become essential to manage your weight effectively, which comes hand in hand with managing your nutrition. This helps your heart function by enabling it to pump blood around the body more effectively without being hindered by fat deposits.

Quit smoking. Did you know that Smokers are almost twice as likely to have a heart attack compared with people who have never smoked?It is never too late to quit and can drastically increase your heart and lung capacity.

Get regular health screenings.  By managing your risk factors, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol or high blood glucose, you can increase your hearts health just by visiting the doctor on a regular basis.

 Check your family history. Although this may seem simple, it should be noted that if a family has a history of heart or other bodily problems they could be hereditary; Its best to check what your body may be prone too.

Make sure you can recognise the early signs of coronary heart disease. Tightness or discomfort in the chest, neck, arm or stomach can show early or increasing signs of an abnormality.

With Just a few adjustments in your diet and your daily activity it could make a big difference in your overall health.