Healthy heart tips for in & around the office
Diseases of the heart and circulatory system take 400 lives each day in the UK. What’s more, around 215 people will be taken to hospital every day as the result of a heart attack. So what can you do to help keep your heart healthy?
If you’re smoking, stop
It’s no secret that smoking is bad for you, but that doesn’t always make it easier to stop. When you have ‘smoking buddies’ around the office who will expect you to nip out and join them on a cigarette break, it can be ten times harder to say no. If you’re serious about quitting, make sure you tell everyone your plans and ask them to be supportive. Making use of your local stop smoking services can also increase your chances of quitting for good. Some people find that nicotine supplements and non-smoking apps can be a big help – it all depends on preference.
Record your cholesterol
Whilst it isn’t realistic (or perhaps much fun) to record everything you eat, having a vague idea of what’s going to heighten your cholesterol levels, and keeping those foods to a minimum, is really important when it comes to your heart. Items which are high in unsaturated fats (such as sausages, cakes & meat pies), and those foods which are high in trans fat (such as dairy foods and milk) can all contribute to higher cholesterol levels, so you should always keep an eye on your intake of foods like this. It may not be about cutting them out completely, but being mindful is key.
Get your fruit and fibre
On the plus side, there are plenty of foods that you can enjoy guilt-free. Wherever possible, introduce more fruit and fibre into your diet. Whether that means sprinkling some nuts and seeds onto your morning porridge or opting for a fruit salad for desert, this can go a long way to reducing your cholesterol and intake of saturated fats. Vegetables, soya foods and drinks, and beans are also great foods for lowing cholesterol, so swap these into your diet wherever possible.
Take the stairs
It’s advice that’s been given so many times, that it’s almost become a cliché. That said, clichés are often only repeated because there’s an element of truth behind them. The recommended amount of exercise is 30 minutes, five days a week but doing little bouts of physical activity, wherever you can, will ensure that you’re doing something to raise your heart-rate a little, which can go a long way to keeping your weight down and improving your heart’s health.
Get your sleep
Regularly having a poor night’s sleep doesn’t just make you grumpy – it can put you at an increased risk of problems like obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Getting your recommended amount of sleep per night, however, can help to lower blood pressure, warding off heart-related illnesses.
For more tips and advice visit our healthy heart hub.
This article was first published on 10th Feb 2016.
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