When it comes to health, the heart is the core of the body – literally and figuratively!
Maintaining a healthy heart is vital for each and every one of us – no matter your age, size or background – if we wish to avoid contracting a cardiovascular disease (CVD).
According to The Heart Foundation, cardiovascular disease kills one Australian every 12 minutes. That’s a figure we want to change and, as the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. That’s why, as Bowral’s best medical centre, we’ve launched our new Heart Health Check Clinic.
If you are over 45 years of age, we encourage you to book in for a heart health check with our experienced nurses and doctors at our new clinic. Given the importance of an annual heart check, we will be bulk billing this service and you will not incur any cost. The check will take about 30 minutes and will generally involve:
- Calculation of your risk;
- A check of your cholesterol, blood pressure and glucose levels;
- A review of your immediate family’s heart health history;
- Consideration of any other health conditions you may have, such as kidney disease or arrhythmias;
- Discussing your diet and lifestyle, as well as
- Assessing your Body Mass Index (BMI) and waist measurement.
Simply call us on 4861 3855 and book an appointment for your Annual Heart Health Check.
Of course, in addition to an Annual Heart Health Check, there are other ways to ensure your heart is in tip-top condition. These can be summed up in two words: lifestyle choices. Making small changes to our daily behaviours could be the ultimate difference between life and death.
Follow our easy checklist below to know more.
It’s not a joke – give up the smoke
It will come as no surprise that smoking can lead to potentially life-threatening diseases including heart attacks, angina and peripheral arterial disease.
Why? Smoking increases the stiffness of the blood vessels making it harder for them to expand and contract as needed and more likely to split. That’s why quitting is the absolute best thing you can do to protect your heart.
No doubt about the workout
Keeping physically active is a sure-fire way to improve your blood cholesterol levels and reduce your blood pressure – meaning a decreased risk of heart disease.
What’s more, daily exercise will help to lose (or control) body weight, improve muscles, joints and bones and improve overall wellbeing. Our whole body is interconnected – so all of these improvements will indirectly improve your heart health, too.
Experts recommend gentle exercise such as walking or swimming for at least 30 minutes per day.
Eat it to beat it
Eating a heart-healthy diet is crucial if you want to prevent a heart attack or stroke.
Try to incorporate a variety of nutritious foods into your daily diet.
Whilst everyone’s dietary needs are different, the core ingredients should usually include lots of fruit and vegetables and other plant-based foods such as wholegrains and healthy proteins such as fish, eggs, nuts and seeds.
Drinking plenty of water is also recommended.
Stress less to be the best
Studies have proven that there is strong correlation between high stress levels and poor heart health.
Dealing with stress can be easier said than done. However, there are a few tips you could take on board.
Try to avoid stressful situations, where possible, and try to maintain an active work-life balance, spending time doing things that you enjoy. Breathing exercises can often help, as can writing down your problems on a piece of pen and paper to give you a bit of perspective.
Of course, this list is not exhaustive, and we can chat to you more about ways to take care of your heart health when you come and visit us for your Annual Heart Health Check.