26 August 2020
The 10 Daily Things You Should Avoid Doing To Reduce the Risk of Heart Attack
The best way to reduce the risk of heart attack is to make positive changes to the way you live.
It is estimated that someone in the UK has a heart attack every 5 minutes, and around 1.4 million people living in the UK have survived a heart attack (bhf.org.uk). By understanding the habits and circumstances that cause them and figuring out what lifestyle changes we can make ourselves, we can begin to understand more about heart attack prevention.
1. Lower your blood pressure
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) is one of the leading causes of a heart attack. When you have high blood pressure your heart and your arteries have to work harder to pump blood around your body. Over time this could cause damage and strain to your heart. Managing healthy blood pressure is an important way to prevent a heart attack naturally,
Because high blood pressure carries no noticeable symptoms, the best way to know if your blood pressure is healthy is by checking it regularly. Kinetik Wellbeing has a range of blood pressure monitors that can be used at home to help you manage your blood pressure and learn how to avoid heart disease.
You can check what your blood pressure reading means for your health by checking our free online blood pressure checker.
Learn more about Kinetik blood pressure monitors here.
2. Improve your fitness
Poor fitness and lack of movement can both become causes of a heart attack. Good physical fitness helps to improve many aspects of our health like lowering blood pressure, managing a healthy weight, and helping our heart to stay in good shape. The minimum recommended amount of exercise is 30 minutes of moderate exercise at least 5 times a week to aid heart attack prevention. Moderate exercise should be enough to make you slightly out of breath and could be a brisk walk, jog, swim, exercise class, or a bike ride.
Our range of fitness devices can complement your fitness journey, and help you monitor your workouts to exercise more efficiently.
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3. Eat well to be well
The way we fuel our bodies is vital when learning how to prevent heart attack. A well-balanced diet that is packed with lots of fresh, seasonal fruit and vegetables and low in saturated fat and sugars will help your body to prevent cardiovascular disease.
Encourage your family to make healthier diet choices (the NHS Change4Life website has some great tips to help your children eat more healthily), and limiting convenience foods in favour of cooking fresh meals which are lower in salt and unhealthy fats.
In order to reduce the risk of a heart attack you should limit intake of foods such as:
- Fatty meats
- Cream and cheese
- Fried foods
- Cakes and biscuits
Increase your intake of:
- Oily fish like salmon, herrings and sardines
- Fresh vegetables
- Legumes, pulses and whole grains
There is more helpful information on changing your diet after a heart attack on the NHS website.
4. Stub out the biggest risk
Smoking is one of the major causes of heart attack. It raises blood pressure and causes damage to the arteries.
If you need help to quit smoking, ask your GP for support or visit the NHS 10 self-help tips to stop smoking for help online.
5. Watch your weight
Being overweight causes strain on your heart as it works to move blood around your body so maintaining a healthy weight is one of the best ways to prevent heart attack naturally. Regular exercise and a healthy diet will help you to manage your weight.
Keep track of your weight at home with the Kinetik Bluetooth Digital Scales which link to the free MedM Weight App allowing you to record your weight over time.
You can check your BMI using the free NHS online BMI calculator.
6. Avoid or manage Diabetes
Research has found that people with Diabetes are 48% more likely to have a heart attack (NHS) so preventing or managing the condition is an important part of heart attack prevention. Diabetes makes it difficult for your body to regulate glucose levels and prolonged high blood sugars can weaken your blood vessels and lead to a risk of heart attack.
The Kinetik Blood Glucose Monitoring System helps you effectively manage your blood glucose levels as part of your everyday lifestyle. Find out more here.
7. Limit alcohol
Drinking too much alcohol can lead to higher blood pressure, weight gain, stroke, diabetes, and increase the risk of heart attack. It is recommended that men and women avoid drinking more than 14 units of alcohol per week, and if you do drink 14 units of alcohol a week you should aim to spread them out over a number of days to reduce the risk of heart attack and other health complications.
8. Manage mental health
Prolonged periods of stress and anxiety can have a physical effect on your heart. Poor mental health may not be a direct cause of heart attack but it can lead to physical conditions like higher blood pressure, which over time can lead to a greater risk of cardiovascular disease.
9. Sleep well
People who don’t get enough sleep can be at risk of heart attack, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, and poor mental health. Aim for at least 7 hours of sleep each night by sticking to a regular bedtime routine and avoiding stimulants like screen time and caffeine late at night if you struggle to wind down.
10. Understand the risks
Being familiar with our overall health is more important than ever before. By understanding how to prevent a heart attack you can make the right positive changes to your lifestyle that will help reduce the risks.
For more information on heart attack prevention, visit the British Heart Foundation.
At Kinetik Wellbeing, we believe that everyone should have access to technology to support their health. Our products can help you monitor your long-term wellbeing, supporting you to lead a healthier life.
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