As you probably already know I’m running the marathon in April for the British Heart Foundation. Heart disease causes one in three deaths in the UK each year so it is imperative that we all look after our hearts. In support of promoting healthy hearts, I’ve highlighted a few common heart risk factors that everyone should be aware of:
Stress is a major risk to your heart health. Long term stress and anxiety can make you more likely to suffer from a heart attack. According to the BHF work stress (we all know about that one) can increase your risk of heart attack by 23%. So, if work is getting on top of you talk to someone it could save you from a lot of pain later on.
Experimental dieting is another hazard for your heart. If you yo-yo diet you’re more likely to put on weight when you come off your diet which could lead to high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. If you want to change your diet make it a permanent change, and make sure you start exercising too.
If you are going to change your diet for the better make sure you are eating good cholesterol, this is crucial for your heart health. You should replace any saturated fats with unsaturated fats and good oils like olive oil to increase the ‘good’ cholesterol around your heart.
A good night’s sleep is vital. Studies show that you’re 12% more likely to have a heart attack if you don’t sleep well at night. If you live near a busy road or train line make sure you go to any lengths to reduce the noise pollution that comes into your home at night. It’ll be worth it when you wake up feeling refreshed the following morning.
If you can follow these simple guidelines you could make a real difference to your overall health. If you do want any more information on heart health check out the British Heart Foundation’s website here: http://www.bhf.org.uk
And if you’re a keen supporter of the BHF then please sponsor me for the London Marathon. Every penny will go straight to the British Heart Foundation’s cause.