Towcester Medical Centre

High Quality Care in a Family Friendly Setting

Heart Health

Top Tips For A Healthy Heart 

Here are 10 things you can do to look after your heart.

 

GIVE UP SMOKING
If you’re a smoker, quit. It’s the single best thing you can do for your heart health.

Smoking is one of the main causes of heart disease. A year after giving up, your risk of a heart attack falls to about half that of a smoker.

You’re more likely to stop smoking for good if you use an NHS stop smoking services. Give us a call and book an appointment with our Health Care Assistant who can support you.

GET ACTIVE 
Regular activity can reduce your risk of developing heart disease. It can also be a great mood booster and stress buster.

Doing half an hour of activity that raises your heart rate on five days a week will contribute to keeping your heart healthy.

LOSE WEIGHT
Being overweight can increase your risk of heart disease. Sticking to a healhty balanced diet low in fat and sugar will be of great beenfit to your heart health.

EAT MORE FIBRE
Eating approximately 30g of fibre a day will help lower the risk of heart disease. Fibre comes from a variety of different sources such as wholemeal bread, bran, oats and wholegrain cereals, potatoes with their skins on, fruit and veg.

REDUCE SATURATED FAT
Eating too much food that is high in saturated fat can raise cholesterol levels in the blood which increases the risk of heart disease. Choosing leaner cuts of meat and lower-fat dairy products will help reduce saturated fat intake.

GET YOUR 5 A DAY
Trying to eat at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables a day is a good way to keep a healthy heart. They’re a good source of fibre, vitamins and minerals.

CUT DOWN SALT
Too much salt in the diet can lead to raised blood pressure so reducing or cutting out salt altogether will help with maintaining heart health.

As well as the salt you add to food watch out for high salt levels in prepared foods. Check the food labels for salt content. If there us more that 1.5g salt (or 0.6g sodium) per 100g this is considered high. Adults should be eating eat less than 6g of salt a day.

EAT FISH
Eating oily fish such as mackerel, sardines, fresh tuna and salmon can help protect against heart disease as they are a source of Omega 3.

(Pregnant or breastfeeding women shouldn’t have more than two portions of oily fish a week.)

REDUCE ALCOHOL
Regularly drinking more alcohol than doctors recommend can have a noticeable impact on your waistline and your overall health. Try to keep to the recommended daily limits for alcohol consumption and have some alcohol free days to reduce the risk of serious health problems including risks to your heart health.

Did you know that if you are aged between 40 and 79 you are eligible for a FREE NHS HEALTH CHECK where we will check your blood pressure, measure your waist circumference, check you cholesterol levels, calculate your BMI, discuss family history and assess risks to your health from your lifestyle. We can support you to make any changes if you think you might need to help keep you healthy and well.

There is a wealth of information on-line relating to keeping your health healthy. Below are links to some of them:

NHS CHOICES – Physical Activity Guidelines

NHS CHOICES – Check Your Heart Age

BRITISH HEART FOUNDATION – Heart Health

BBC GOOD FOOD – What to eat for a Healthy Heart