A read of the statistics on the The Heart Foundation’s website is pretty humbling. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) kills one Australian every 12 minutes, making it one of Australia’s largest health problems. And, every year, around 54,000 people in Australia experience a heart attack. It’s no wonder heart health is in the spotlight.
The connection between food, fitness and heart health is apparent. Maintaining a healthy weight, being physically active, minimizing alcohol intake, not smoking, and enjoying fruits and vegetables everyday significantly decreases your risk of cardiovascular disease. Unfortunately, 1 in 4 adult Australians are not meeting par on 3 or more of these areas. And, the older we get the greater the risk of CVD becomes.
Your Body, Your Health
We must remember to look after our bodies. After all, we need them to carry us through our entire lives. I learned not to take my health for granted the hard way, but you don’t have to wait for a personal wakeup call. The statistics on heart disease speak for themselves.
It is easy to lose track of a healthy life balance. We nobly put the care of our careers, kids and homes before ourselves. But, without our health … well, we risk not being able to look after anything else if we don’t look after our health.
Good Habits = A Healthy Life
Taking control of your health can seem daunting. But, changing small things that we do without thinking can and impact your health in big ways. Taking the stairs instead of the escalator, replacing soft drink with water, eating a healthy breakfast instead of skipping it or grabbing something quick in transit, are just a few ways to start making big changes.
In the beginning, it takes a conscious effort, but soon these small things will become your new habit and you will do them without thinking. And, you’ll feel the difference immediately! Monitoring your progress can help you realise how big an impact a little change can make. It’s your body, and ultimately, its health is up to you.
Regular physical activity is a contributor to heart health. Find ways to move that you enjoy and fit them into your daily or weekly routine. Incorporate walking into your schedule. If you have time, get off the bus and walk the last few stops. Park your car a few blocks from your destination and enjoy a short, peaceful stroll before and after meetings, café meets, the movies … whatever! Exercising with a group increases your likelihood of sticking with a routine. So, get your friends and neighbours on board the health train!
A heart healthy diet means eating vegetables, fruits, seeds, wholegrains, and nuts every day. These foods provide you with nutrients, fibre and protein. You can throw them into a stir fry, a smoothie or just eat them on the go. There are so many ways you can increase the amount of heart-healthy food in your diet. For quick and healthy recipes see our latest dinner recipe book.
Take your Heart Health Seriously
According to the Heart Foundation, around 54,000 Australians suffer a heart attack each year. Knowing the signs can be vital in getting prompt medical attention. Look out for the following signs, and if you have any concerns, contact your medical practitioner.
- Pain or discomfort in the chest
- Lightheadedness, nausea, or vomiting
- Jaw, neck or back pain
- Discomfort or pain in arm or shoulder
- Shortness of breath
Signs do vary and are not always sudden or severe. See www.heartfoundation.org.au for more information. If you experience the above, call 000 and survive!
Kapai Puku No. 1 Heart Health is an amazing blend of grains, wholeseeds, dried fruit, protein and kernels. It combines organic, nutrient-rich ingredients to benefit your heart health. More information at www.kapaipuku.com