This February, Life Line Screening the leading experts in preventive mobile community health assessments is helping to raise awareness of National Heart Month – an annual event organised by leading charity, The British Heart Foundation to highlight one of the UK’s biggest killers, heart disease.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the UK and is responsible for taking one life every six minutes, an average of 244 lives per day, equating to more than 80,000 deaths per year. According to recent reports, heart disease is accountable for in 1 in 3 deaths in both sexes. But two thirds of women are more worried about their partner’s health and only start to show concern for their own heart when they’re in their late 50’s.
Previously, it was believed that women developed heart disease 5-10 years later than men; however, new findings suggest that the gap may not be so wide. “It’s time women took their own heart health seriously – and not just worried about their partner’s – to ensure they spot the warning signs and take action early,” says Cardiologist, Dr Jane Flint.
Understand your risk factors with Life Line Screening
The majority of deaths caused by heart disease are usually avoidable but the underlying risk factors are not always apparent and the only way to be sure is to get checked. For anyone wanting reassurance, Life Line Screening recommends their comprehensive heart disease risk assessment. The package includes an in-depth analysis of your blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels – essential factors in the detection of heart-related diseases.
Currently, there are 8 million people in the UK who are at high risk of heart disease despite having a healthy body max index. Health coach and nutritional advisor, Andrew Wilson is also on-hand with expert advice “Life Line Screening offer health assessments which will provide an insight into your cardiovascular health. Diet and lifestyle habits play an important part in substantially reducing our risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. Making small positive changes to your lifestyle can help you lead a healthier and happier life.”
10 Ways to Show Your Heart Some Love:
Eat a rainbow: Brightly coloured fruit and vegetables contain antioxidants and phytonutrients which ‘mop up’ harmful molecules and counteract heart disease. The more colour and variety the better! Think broccoli, tomatoes, blueberries, lemons, peppers and oranges!
Ditch it: If you’re a smoker – it’s time to quit! Smoking’s been linked with constricted arteries, poor blood circulation and increased blood clotting which can lead to stroke.
Maintain a healthy weight: Our body burns fewer calories as we get older so it’s important to watch our weight. Carrying extra pounds forces our heart to work harder and increases our chances of suffering from heart disease.
Get active: Ground-breaking research shows that walking for just 20 minutes extra a day can slash the risk of killer cardiovascular conditions.
Sleep restfully: A restorative sleep is vital for refreshing and repairing our mind and body, thereby promoting a healthy heart!
Cut your sugar intake by half: Sugar has recently been framed as the number one enemy in the western diet. It’s reported that refined sugars offer zero nutritional value and contributes to heart disease. Doctors suggest sugar levels need to be reduced by 50% to avoid further risk of disease and death6.
Get your dose of Vitamin D: Vitamin D is naturally produced in the body in response to sunlight and also found in certain types of foods such as; oily fish eggs and milk. The ‘sunshine vitamin’ appears to protect the lining of our blood vessels, reduce arterial stiffness and prevents inflammation, helping to avoid risk of heart disease.
Beware of ‘fat-free’ or ‘low-fat’ labels: These foods usually contain more sugar or salt than their full-fat versions in order to make up losing the flavour from fat! Swap ‘bad’ fats found in processed foods (e.g. biscuits and crisps) with ‘good’ fats such as olive oil, nuts, seeds and oily fish. These heart healthy fats keep your bloods vessels in good condition and reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Make time to unwind: When you relax, so do your capillaries and muscles. This allows your blood to flow more easily. Try taking a moment everyday to unwind by meditating, practicing breathing techniques or listening to soothing music.
Get checked: For peace of mind, there is no alternative to being well informed so it’s a good idea to get your heart checked. If you’re interested in taking more control of your health, visit www.lifelinescreening.co.uk for more information about health screenings or www.lifelinescreeningblog.co.uk for exclusive lifestyle advice.