Love Your Heart
Your heart is a muscle about the size of your fist. It pumps blood around your body and beats approximately 70 times a minute ( age related ). The blood leaves the right side of the heart and goes to the lungs, where it picks up oxygen. The oxygen rich blood returns to your heart and is then pumped around your body through a network of arteries. Blood returns from around your body to the heart through veins. This process is called circulation.
The heart gets it’s own supply of blood from a network of blood vessels on the surface of your heart, called coronary arteries.
Coronary Heart Disease (CHD)
Coronary heart disease is the term that describes what happens when your heart’s blood supply is blocked or interrupted by a build-up of fatty substances in the coronary arteries.
Angina (chest pains) – occurs when the arteries are narrowed due to a build up of fatty deposits and the blood supply to the heart is restricted.
Myocardial Infarction (heart attack) – occurs when a coronary artery becomes completely blocked.
Are You At Risk Of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD)?
You are at risk of developing CHD if:
- You have high blood cholesterol.
- You have high blood pressure.
- Heart disease runs in your family.
- You have a waist measurement greater than 37ins (94cms) male or 34ins (86cms) female.
What You Can Do To Reduce Your Risk
- Have your blood cholesterol and blood pressure checked by your doctor.
- Give up smoking
- Eat healthily – less saturated fat and more fruit, vegetables, soya, whole grains and oily fish.
- Get active
- Lose weight – aim for a healthy 1-2lbs each week.
- Relax – take time out each day to kick back and de-stress.
- Drink less alcohol – more than the recommended daily amounts can damage your heart and increase your blood pressure.
By making these simple lifestyle changes you can reduce your risk of getting CHD. If you already have heart disease these changes will reduce your risk of developing further heart related problems.
Keeping your heart healthy will have other health benefits and help reduce your risk of STROKE and DEMENTIA.