Did you know that approximately 1.2 million Australians over the age of 18 experience heart health issues at some point in their lifetime?
As February is Heart Health Month we sat down with Eric Chan, head of Pharmacy at Blooms The Chemist, who shared expert insights on his top 5 ways to support your cardiovascular health.
1. Eat a heart healthy diet
Try to avoid eating food with high levels of added sugars, salts and saturated fats as excessive consumption has been shown to increase your risk of high blood pressure and cholesterol. Try to include leafy greens, wholegrains, berries and protein rich foods. You can also head into your local Blooms The Chemist to undertake one of their free health checks for cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
2. Incorporate exercise into your routine
Exercise is crucial for supporting a healthy heart. Regular moderate to vigorous exercise may help to lower blood pressure, help improve blood flow, and help lower cholesterol levels. Incorporating aerobic exercises, resistance training and flexibility/stretching work can all help to support your cardiovascular health.
3. Find ways to ease your stress levels
While some stress may be a normal part of life, too much can be a bad thing, especially for the health of your heart. High levels of cortisol from long-term stress may increase blood cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure.
4. Maintain a healthy body weight
When your weight is within a healthy range your body may be more efficient at circulating blood, which helps support your overall cardiovascular health. To help regulate a healthy body weight, maintain a regular exercise routine, reduce screen time, eat a nutritious balanced diet and drink around 2 litres of water every day.
5. Refrain from smoking
Nicotine triggers the body to release adrenaline which may narrow blood vessels and have may have a negative impact on your heart health. Smoking may also reduce the amount of oxygen in your blood. Quitting smoking is important to helping support a healthy heart. If you are currently struggling to quit, Blooms The Chemist has smoking health check services available, which help you design a quit smoking plan specific to your personal needs.