Heart disease is a leading cause of death and disability. Some factors are out of our control however there are lots of things you can do to help lower your risk.
Maintain a healthy weight – being overweight or obese can increase your risk of heart disease. Maintain a healthy weight with regular exercise and a healthy diet.
Limit alcohol intake – the NHS website recommends keeping alcohol intake to a low level and men and women are advised not to drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis which is the equivalent to 6 pints of average strength beer or 10 glasses of low strength wine. Try having alcohol free days as much as possible and if you are at high risk of heart disease avoiding it as much as possible or altogether is preferable.
Avoid cigarettes – smoking increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as stroke and coronary heart disease. Smoking damages the arteries and causes a build up of atheroma (fatty material) which can cause angina, heart attacks and stroke.
Control blood pressure – high blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease. You can get your blood pressure checked at your local Doctors surgery. Lifestyle factors can play a predominant role in preventing or controlling night blood pressure.
Check your blood pressure – high blood pressure is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. It doesn’t usually hVe any warning signs so it’s worth asking your GP to check yours.
Consider your family history – Age and gender can increase your risk factor. Men are more likely to develop heart disease earlier in life but at the age of 65 women are almost as likely to suffer.
Manage stress – stress is linked to heart disease and many ways that we deal with stress can also contribute such as overeating, drinking, smoking and being physically inactive. Try breathing techniques, listening to relaxing music or try some yoga and meditation techniques – https://www.suffolkcarersmatter.org.uk/your-health/meditation-for-beginners/