The average heart is the size of an adult fist. It beats more than a hundred thousand times a day and pumps nearly 10,000 litres of blood around the body!

The hardest working muscle, the hearts main job is to keep oxygen rich blood circulating around your body. A pretty vital job. That’s why it’s so important to keep you heart healthy. So read on for some tips to keep your heart in tip top shape.

Don’t smoke!

When talking heart health, smoking is bad news. In other words, if you regularly, or even irregularly light up, you could be reducing the amount of oxygen in your blood. And, smoking can damage your blood vessels making them stiff and weak. To help keep your heart healthy, bin the cigarettes.

Get active

The less active you are, the higher the risk of an unhealthy heart. Regular physical activity is necessary to keep your heart doing its very important job. Things like a brisk walk, dancing, golf or tennis or even household chores like washing windows or gardening can help keep your heart healthy.

If you haven’t been very active before, always check with your doctor before you start. And make sure you set yourself up to succeed by picking activities that you enjoy, setting small and achievable goals and by getting your friends and family involved. For more tips and advice on adding physical activity to your day, visit the Heart Foundation website.

Health food

Eat a healthy diet

Eating a varied diet of healthy foods is good way to look after your heart. Less salt and added sugars and more wholegrains, fibre and unsaturated fats is a great start.

Three changes that can make a big difference to your heart health are reducing your salt intakelimiting the alcohol you consume and swapping unhealthy fats for healthy ones.

Look after your mental health

Research indicates that there is a link between depression and a greater risk of heart disease. If you feel socially isolated or lack a strong support network, that could also put you at greater risk.

Being and feeling connected is important. So too is looking after your mental health. Both can help keep your heart healthy. So if you’re struggling with your mental health, feeling isolated or lacking support, speak to your doctor, family or friends, or contact an organisation like Beyond Blue.

In addition to your mental health, managing any health conditions that can impact your heart is important. High cholesterol, blood pressure and diabetes can all have direct repercussions for your heart.

While your body needs cholesterol, any imbalance is potential a risk factor for heart disease. Similarly, high blood pressure is also a risk factor. So, it’s important to manage your cholesterol and blood pressure in conjunction with your health professional.

And finally don’t forget to laugh. Laughing is good for your heart. But it’s not only good for your health, it also helps to reduce stress and boosts your immune system.

For more information on keeping your heart health, visit the Heart Foundation.

Please note the information supplied is general in nature. Please consult your medical practitioner for individual advice. 

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