According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, ischaemic heart disease was the leading cause of death in Australia, last reported in 2019. Almost 11% of all deaths were attributed to heart disease, accounting for about one in every four deaths. Although your chance of getting a cardiovascular disease increases with age, don’t just assume that it’s going to happen. There’s a lot you can do to keep your heart healthy no matter how old you are.
Here are some tips for maintaining cardiovascular health:
Make good food choices by eating an abundance of vegetables of all colours as well as legumes and fruit. According to the Heart Foundation, eating lots of vegetables reduces your risk of developing heart disease. Actually, a diet full of fruits and vegetables helps with weight management too. Foods that are high in fibre will help with this too, including lots of wholegrains.
Furthermore, having protein is a dietary necessity. But, you don’t have to eat large serves of red meat to get your protein intake. If you eat meat, opt for lean meats. Other proteins you could choose include nuts, legumes and eggs.
Also, include calcium rich foods in your diet, such as milk & yoghurt, and so on. But animal fats are not good for your heart, so opt for fat reduced varieties.
In order to understand quantities of food groups you need in order to maintain a healthy diet, have a look at the Australian Dietary Guidelines. They were developed by the National Health and Medical Research Council. Portion control and calorie control helps with weight management, which reduces the risk of heart disease.
Having an active lifestyle will improve your circulation and your heart health. It will also assist in maintaining a healthy weight, and will help with your bone health, muscle health and coordination.
As previously mentioned, the Heart Foundation states that being overweight increases the risk of heart disease. This is because it increases the risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, Type 2 diabetes & fat build up in the arteries. Essentially, in order to maintain a healthy weight, you need to burn the energy off that you put into your body. With portion control & making healthy choices, a healthy weight can be achieved and maintained.
Smoking affects your heart by damaging the blood vessels of your heart. Because smokers are at increased risk of heart disease, the cessation of smoking at any stage will reduce your risk of heart disease.
If you’re finding it hard to quit you can call Quitline on 13 78 48, or speak with your G.P. about options.
Heavy drinking increases your risk of heart disease. Why? Because it increases your heart rate. It can also increase your blood pressure & increase triglyceride levels in the blood.
The less alcohol that you drink, the less likely you are to be at risk of heart disease related to overconsumption of alcohol. Check the Australian guidelines to find out how much is a safe amount to drink. Consider setting healthier habits in 2021 to maintain a healthy heart. If you love a glass of wine but don’t want the health impacts caused by drinking alcohol, there are businesses out there, such as Sans Drinks that offer alcohol free options. You can get alcohol free beer, wine and spirits.
Last but not least, avoid stress to keep maintain a healthy heart and mind. According to the Heart Foundation heart disease and anxiety and depression often occur simultaneously. This could be a result of depression’s association with an unhealthy lifestyle, increasing the risk of heart problems.
If you need mental health help, talk with your G.P. or call Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636.
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