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Heart Health Awareness Month

February is Heart Health Awareness Month in New Zealand.

There are plenty of things we can all do to lower our risk of developing coronary heart disease, which will contribute to living a healthy life and keeping one of our most important organs safe and well.  


Eating a healthy, balanced diet. Our diet can be a major factor in the health of our heart. One of the main things to watch out for is foods that are high in saturated fat, as too much of this will increase the levels of bad cholesterol in your blood. Foods high in saturated fat include meat pies, butter, cakes, and biscuits.

Keep yourself at a healthy weight. Excess weight can lead to fatty materials building up in your arteries. If the arteries that carry blood to your heart get damaged and blocked, this can potentially lead to a heart attack.

Make sure you do regular exercise. Combining a healthy diet with regular exercise is the best way of maintaining a healthy weight, which in turn lowers your chances of developing high blood pressure. The heart is a muscle like any other, and benefits from exercise. A strong, healthy heart can move blood around the body with less effort.

Quit smoking. Not smoking reduces the chances of developing coronary heart disease. This is because smoking is a major contributor to atherosclerosis, which is a thickening or hardening of the arteries. This makes it harder for blood to move through them and increases the chances of a blood clot forming, which can lead to a heart attack.

Get your heart checked. A heart check is a great way to find out your risk of a heart attack or a stroke, and you can get these done by your local GP. Your doctor can assess your risk of a stroke or heart attack and recommend things to improve if your risks are too high. The Heart Foundation also provides a free, online heart health assessment to give an indication of your heart health, which can be found here:

Use these tips to improve the health of your heart this Heart Health Awareness Month, or if your heart is healthy already, keep it happily beating for a long time to come.

OneCare Health, caring for your family's health

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