Valentine’s Day 2021: 6 tips to better heart health

11 February 2021

Valentine’s Day 2021: 6 Tips to better heart health

Valentine’s Day may be a little different this year and while you may decide to put in a little extra effort for your loved ones, at Randox Health we want you to think about loving your heart in a new way.

According to the British Heart Foundation (BHF) Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) is one of the UK’s leading cause of death with 63,000 dying each year.  That’s an average of 170 people each day, or one death every eight minutes, who will die prematurely because of heart problems.

With everyday decisions crucial in looking after your cardiovascular health, Valentine’s Day is a good time to reflect on some lifestyle changes that can help change your heart health for the better.  Check out these top tips:

1. Brush your teeth properly

Did you know that gum disease isn’t just bad news for your teeth, it’s also linked to serious health problems in other parts of your body? According to the Department of Health  brushing your teeth properly and looking after your gums can prevent and treat gum disease, improve your overall health and help to reduce your risk of health problems, such as heart disease.

Couple brushing teeth
managing weight

2. Manage your weight

Being overweight does increase your risk of a heart attack so treating someone to chocolate’s this Valentine’s Day should be an exception to your everyday diet.  Reducing fat (especially saturated fat) and salt is important for the overall management of your weight. According to Heart UK, being overweight can increase your risk of heart disease, so make sure you stick to a well-balanced diet, low in fat and high in fruit and vegetables.

3. Give up smoking

Unfortunately, every cigarette you smoke makes you more likely to get heart disease.  According to the World Health Organisation, roughly 1 out of 5 heart disease deaths worldwide are directly related to smoking.  It is one of the main causes of coronary heart disease, as well as a contributing factor to host of other illnesses. The good news is that your body can recover and according to a recent report by Nature, your lungs have an almost “magical” ability to repair some of the damage caused by smoking – but only if you stop.

Quit smoking
Alcohol

4. Drink less alcohol

Celebrating Valentine’s Day with a glass of wine might be your tradition but drinking alcohol regularly can increase your risk of serious health problems including cardiovascular disease.  You can refer to the UK Chief Medical Officers’ Low Risk Drinking Guidelines to help you make informed choices about your alcohol intake.

5. Get up and move around

Whilst we may be familiar with the advice to exercise more, did you know that people who spend hours sitting are at a greater risk of heart disease, even if they eat healthy and work out?  According to a report by the Annals of Internal Medicine, sitting for long periods affects the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar, blood pressure and break down body fat.  The Department of Health recommends getting up and moving around every half an hour.

Family Stretching
Woman Sleeping

6. Sleep

Sleep provides time for the body to restore and recharge so insufficient or fragmented sleep can contribute to problems with blood pressure and heighten the risk of heart disease, heart attacks, diabetes, and stroke.  Professor of Sleep Medicine, Paul Gringras has said: “Those people who sleep under six hours have a higher risk of coronary heart disease, their blood pressure is higher and their cholesterol is worse.”  Which means addressing your sleep problems now could have a big impact on your heart health.

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