February is the British Heart Foundation’s Heart Month.
There are lots of ways you can support your heart and the hearts of loved ones. Below are a few ideas to get you started.
- Learn CPR in fifteen minutes.
Many of us will witness a cardiac arrest, and we can be ready by taking the time to learn CPR with this free and easy-to-use online training course.
- Check your blood pressure
Blood pressure is a key indicator of your health and is important to monitor to avoid heart attacks and failure. You can buy an affordable blood pressure monitor from your local pharmacy. As a general guide, ideal blood pressure is between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg. If you have a high reading, book an appointment with your GP and they can discuss how best to manage it.
- Make some healthy food swaps
Small changes to your diet can make a huge difference to your heart health. Cutting back on salt and sugar and swapping ultra processed foods for whole foods will make a big difference to your health and energy levels. You can read more about eating a balanced diet on the British Heart Foundation website.
- Book your dental check-up
Maintaining good dental hygiene has far-reaching benefits, as gum disease can lead to tooth loss and has also been linked to an increased risk of developing heart or blood vessel problems. Make sure to book regular dentist and hygienist appointments.
- Sneak exercise into your day
Staying active can keep you happier and healthier and is key to maintaining good heart health. Read about small ways you can become more active here.
- Quit smoking
Smoking is very harmful to your health, and seriously increases your risk of developing heart and circulatory diseases. The chemicals in cigarettes make the walls of your arteries sticky. This causes fatty material to stick to the walls. The fatty material can begin to clog your arteries and reduce the space for blood to flow properly.
The NHS website has a lot of information and support on quitting smoking, and your GP will be able to support you making this healthy change.