It’s World Heart Day!
Each year around 20 million lives are lost due to cardiovascular disease.
Cardiovascular disease is a category of conditions which impact the health and functioning of our heart and blood vessels. These conditions include coronary heart disease and attacks, cerebrovascular disease and stroke.
These often cause a variety of symptoms including chest pain or discomfort, shortness of breath, pain, weakness or discomfort in your arms, legs, neck, jaw or back, dizziness, fatigue and feeling tired easily during exercise.
Taking care of our heart is important for maintaining our overall health.
What does our heart do?
Our heart is a vital organ of our body, comprised of muscles, blood vessels, nerves and blood. It receives blood from the rest of the body, sends it to the lungs where oxygen is picked up by the red blood cells and carbon dioxide is taken from the blood into the lungs where it is exhaled into the air. From here, the blood returns to the heart where it is then pumped around the body with each contraction to delivery oxygen and other nutrients to all of the organs and tissue of the body. The blood makes its way throughout the blood vessels of the body until it reaches the heart again and the cycle continues.
What causes cardiovascular disease?
Factors which increase your risk of developing cardiovascular disease include family history, sex, ethnicity and age.
There are some lifestyle factors which can also put you at risk, such as:
- High blood pressure
- Tobacco smoking
- Physical inactivity
- High cholesterol
- Excessive alcohol intake
- High stress levels
- Air pollution
We can alter these aspects of our lifestyle to reduce our risk.
How can we keep our heart healthy?
- Eat a healthy balanced diet: focus on eating a variety of fruit and veg and minimising the amount of sugar, salt and processed foods in your diet.
- Stay physically active: go for a 30 minute walk each day, try a new exercise class at the gym or play a game of soccer with your friends.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Quit smoking: smoking is a major contributor to developing cardiovascular disease. Within 2 years your risk decreases substantially and by 15 years your risks match a non-smoker.
- Reduce your high density lipoproteins and triglyceride intake in order to maintain cholesterol levels.
- Monitor your cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
Find more of our health tips here.
Book an appointment with our chiropractor, massage therapist or naturopath here or call us on 9651 5559.
World Heart Foundation. (2023). What is cardiovascular disease? https://world-heart-federation.org/world-heart-day/cvd-causes-conditions/what-is-cvd/