It’s February, which means that people around the world are spreading awareness and fundraising for Heart Health Month. This is the time for us to celebrate good heart health and make changes towards living a healthier lifestyle.
There are plenty of steps you can take to lower your risk of heart disease, and heart health month is the perfect time to make them!
By now we all know just how essential it is to keep our hearts healthy. However, it can be difficult to know exactly where to start when it comes to turning around potentially problematic habits and lifestyle choices.
Many different symptoms and conditions come under the term Coronary Heart Disease, including angina, heart attacks, heart failure, abnormal heart rhythm and congenital heart disease.
Coronary Heart Disease is the single biggest killer in the UK. This deadly disease is the cause of death for around 73,000 people every year- that’s an average of 200 people per day, or one every seven minutes.
Although Coronary Heart Disease is the leading cause of death in the country, it is also one of the most easily preventable. Simply by becoming aware of your risk factors and making the necessary lifestyle changes, you can significantly lower your chances of falling victim to this and a whole host of other potentially fatal cardiac conditions.
Tips for a Healthy Heart
A diagnosis of Coronary Heart Disease is usually the result of several factors, most commonly, weight, diet, smoking habits and physical activity levels. The best way to lower your chances of contracting this condition is through self-care; maintaining a balanced diet and taking regular exercise.
The NHS LiveWell pages have a few small changes you can make that will make this easier to achieve and help combat the symptoms of heart disease, including guidance on acting levels, diet, and alcohol consumption.
Are You More at Risk?
These changes in lifestyle choices can make a huge difference to your heart health. However, there are also some unchangeable factors that can make some of us more at risk of contracting Coronary Heart Disease. These include:
Family history: People whose parents or siblings have been diagnosed with heart disease are more at risk themselves.
Sex: Men have a higher risk of contracting heart disease at an earlier age than women.
Ethnicity: Ethnic background can have an impact on heart health. In the UK, people of South Asian descent are 50% more at risk of dying from heart disease and people from African or African Caribbean backgrounds are likelier to have high blood pressure.
Age: The likelihood of Coronary Heart Disease increases with age. This is why it becomes even more important to make the necessary heart health changes as you get older.
If you are in one or more of these high-risk categories, it is extremely important that you take good care of your heart health. This February, make the most of Heart Health Month by making the necessary lifestyle changes and finding out more information that can protect your heart.
Get Involved With Heart Health Month
As well as taking steps towards boosting your own heart health, you can help make a difference for others this February by getting involved with Heart Health Month.
Head over to the British Heart Foundation if you’d like to make a donation to help combat this fatal disease. Alternatively, help spread awareness and raise funds by signing up for a challenge such as sponsored cycling or running. To organise your own event, order a free fundraising starter pack.
Want to get out there and meet the people who your efforts will help? Why not try volunteering at a British Heart Foundation shop or at one of the many events which will be taking place this Heart Health Month.