We only get one, so it's vitally important to look after it
5 February 2020| Last updated on 21 April 2021
Your heart is your most important organ, so it's imperative that you take care of it.
We only get one of them and thanks to medical science advancements, the investigations and treatments available year upon year become better, but despite this, many of the best things to protect your heart can be done at home.
As Mediclinic Parkview Hospital's Dr. Philip Strike, Consultant Interventional and General Cardiologist, explains, overwhelmingly the best thing to do is regular exercise. There's a saying that if exercise were a tablet, everyone in the world would take it because the benefits are so great.
Why is exercise so good for heart health?
Exercising helps to decrease your weight, improve your metabolism, your blood pressure, and your cholesterol profile too. The critical thing is to find something that you enjoy and to do it three or four times a week for at least 40 minutes, aiming to be breathless by the end of the activity.
...and what about our diet and lifestyles? How does that affect it?
Weight management and diet are also vital for heart health, as the quantity and quality of our food matters. The amount of salt, especially with food in restaurants and take-aways, is important to monitor since too much salt predisposes to high blood pressure.
You should also have a diet that has no more than 2 to 3 caffeinated drinks a day, is sensible about alcohol and is low in saturated fat. Smoking either cigarettes or shisha is especially bad, and shortens lives, too.
Does sleep affect heart health?
Something that is hugely underrated when it comes to the health of our hearts is the quality of sleep we get. Total darkness, with no screens and no caffeine consumed after 2 pm can really help to improve your heart's health - plus a regular bed time cannot be underestimated.
Who checks the heart at the hospital?
Cardiologists are experts at assessing chest pain, blood pressure, breathlessness, palpitations, dizziness, blackouts and assessing risk factors such as high cholesterol. If you have any of these symptoms then a consultation with a Consultant Cardiologist may be helpful. Similarly, if you are concerned about the future risks to yourself or your family, then a chat with a Cardiologist may put your mind at ease.
To book an appointment with Dr. Philip Strike or at Mediclinic Parkview Hospital to discuss your heart health, simply press click to contact to get in touch!