With the temptations of the festive season almost upon us, there are lots of ways we can keep our hearts happy and healthy.
We can reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes by looking after our physical and mental health – especially when faced with the challenges of the Covid pandemic, and the temptation to overindulge over Christmas and the New Year.
Here are four simple tips to follow to look after our heart health.
Eat better and drink less alcohol
Eating a healthy balanced diet is not only important for our bodies and our weight, it can also help improve our mood and energy levels. Try to avoid too much snacking on all the tempting Christmas treats.
Here’s more information about simple changes that can make a difference.
Make time for yourself
Having some ‘me time’ can boost your mental – and physical – health. Be kind to your mind and your body at this hectic time.
Keeping active can help boost the body’s immune system and can help prevent t conditions such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and obesity. It’s also good for our mental health too as it can help lift your mood also help you get a better night’s sleep.
Stopping smoking is the single biggest thing you can do to reduce your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Find out about the support available to help you quit.
Am I at risk?
Certain conditions, such as atrial fibrillation, high blood pressure (BP) and high cholesterol increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. Once again there are simple actions we can take to reduce the risk such as knowing your blood pressure numbers and cholesterol and getting them checked regularly, taking any prescribed medications as well as arranging and attending any annual check-ups. Help and support to manage your condition is still available at this time, speak to your GP surgery or call or visit NHS 111.
And for those with heart or circulatory conditions it’s even more important that you stay safe from Covid 19 by following the guidance regarding regular hand washing, mask wearing and keeping a safe distance from others. If you experience symptoms of Covid 19 remember to self-isolate and get tested.
Where can I get help?
To ensure you get the right healthcare when you need it most, dial 999 if you experience symptoms of heart attack, stroke and other life-threatening emergencies, even during COVID-19.
Contact the NHS 111 online or phone service for urgent medical advice for other issues.
To contact your GP practice, go to the practice website or contact them by app or phone.
For more information and advice visit the Happy Hearts website www.happy-hearts.co.uk.