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3 ways to a healthier heart

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Cardiovascular disease is one of Australia’s biggest killers but many of us don’t really give our heart health much thought until there’s a problem. According to Heart Research Australia, cardiovascular disease kills one Australian every 12 minutes and is the single biggest killer of women in Australia.

Smoking is one of the main causes of heart disease and while the number of people who smoke in Australia is declining, there is still a large number of people struggling to kick the habit. Giving up smoking is one of the best things you can do to improve your overall health and wellbeing and reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease in the future.

While taking care of your heart should be a priority, it’s all too often ignored. We’ve put together our top three tips to help you get, and keep your heart in optimum condition.

1. Get active

While you might groan at the thought of hitting the gym, getting regular exercise has proven benefits not only for your heart, but for your health and wellbeing in general.

Current guidelines from the Department of Health recommend that adults spend 75-150 minutes of vigorous physical activity each week or 150-300 minutes doing moderate level activity. The Department of Health also suggests that adults undertake muscle strengthening exercises at least twice a week.

While it can be hard to motivate yourself to exercise, working on developing a more active lifestyle overall can help you improve your heart health over the long term. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Spend at least 30 minutes engaged in physical activity on most, if not all, days. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing as long as you are moving.
  • Try to think of exercise as an opportunity rather than an inconvenience. Developing a more positive mindset around exercise can make a big difference to your enthusiasm levels.
  • Try to vary what you do every day so you don’t get bored. Even the most motivated among us get tired of doing the same thing over and over again.

If you can build activity into your life it will seem less like a chore and you can improve your health.

2. Make good food choices

Eating the wrong foods can have a serious impact on the health of your heart. Fast food, fatty meat and high levels of saturated fat have all been shown to increase the risk of developing cardiovascular problems. It’s not only the type of food, but also the quantity that makes a difference.

Making home cooked meals more often instead of eating out can help you control the amount of food you’re eating as well as the level of fat and salt in your meals. Food prepared at home usually has lower levels of oil and salt than fast food and you can use healthier oils like olive, canola or sunflower oils to cook with, and add flavour to dishes using herbs rather than salt.

3. Spend time with friends

Having a supportive network of friends and families may help you stave off heart disease according to Better Health Victoria. People who are more socially active may be less likely to suffer from cardiovascular problems and have better overall general health.

Group exercise activities such as walking groups have been shown to have especially positive results when it comes to promoting overall wellbeing.
By implementing a few positive changes you can reduce your chances of developing cardiovascular disease and enjoy a greater feeling of health and wellbeing.

To compare family health insurance and learn more about comparing options for adults, give Choosewell a call on 1300 421 154 or request a call back for a free health insurance comparison.

 

 

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