What can you do to lower your heart age?

What can you do to lower your heart age?

How can I look after my heart health?

Have a screening with your GP. If you’re identified as high cardiac risk, they can refer you to a specialist at Benenden Hospital for a scan of your heart and coronary arteries.

Why should you look after your heart?

Prevention is key, especially if there is a history of someone in your extended family who has suffered a sudden and unexpected death. Often simple measures can reduce risk.

What happens if you don’t look after your heart?

Generally speaking, an unhealthy lifestyle increases your risk of a heart attack and, subsequently, heart failure. A healthier lifestyle will improve your cardiovascular health and will make you feel a lot better and helps to support a healthy body.

What can you do to lower your heart age?

While heart disease is common, many of us can take steps to help prevent it by keeping a healthy heart. One in 10 men aged 50 has a heart age of 60. This was the finding of Public Health England (PHE), following analysis of the results from its online Heart Age test. And the issue certainly doesn’t just affect men: more than 900,000 women in the UK are living with heart disease and it kills nearly three times more women than breast cancer.

So, what can you do to improve your heart health and lower your heart age?

1. Stop smoking to lower heart risk

Smokers are almost twice as likely to have a heart attack as those who’ve never smoked, according to the British Heart Foundation (BHF).

Smoking damages the lining of the arteries and leads to the build-up of fatty material that narrows your arteries. Quitting is the best thing for your heart health. One year after giving up, your heart-attack risk will be halved, giving you a more healthy heart.

2. Reduce saturated fats

BHF says too much saturated fat can increase the amount of ‘bad’ (low-density lipoprotein, or LDL) cholesterol in the blood, which can increase the risk of developing coronary heart disease. Saturated fats can be found in fried food, processed meat products such as sausages, pastries, cheese and cream. Check out our article on healthy eating and the Wellness Solution Plate.

3. Be more active to improve your cardiovascular health

Activity and exercise is great for maintaining a healthy heart, it can help to lower your risk of coronary heart disease. It can feel like it’s difficult to fit exercise into daily life, but simple things such as walking rather than driving or taking the stairs instead of the lift can help. Or you can download and try the NHS Couch to 5K app and set yourself the challenge of getting fit through running. Our article offers some hints and tips on getting started with running this year.

4. Mind your weight with heart healthy meals

If you’re overweight, your heart must work harder. Maintaining a healthy weight can cut down the strain on your heart and help protect you against high blood pressure and lower your cholesterol, helping to keep your heart healthy. Try searching online for healthy heart recipes to include in your diet or food good for the heart to help maintain a healthy weight.

5. Keep your blood pressure in check

A normal blood pressure (BP) is around 120/70mmHg, although up to 140/90mmHg is within the normal range. High blood pressure can be symptomless and as many as seven million people in the UK have it unknowingly. Many people’s BP can be lowered or kept in check with lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy weight, lowering salt and alcohol intake, being active and having stress-coping strategies.

Get on top of your heart health

If you’re experiencing symptoms, or have concerns about your blood pressure, our cardiology specialists offer a range of tests and scans. Our Consultant Cardiologist, Dr Konrad Grosser says “A cardiac MRI scan can assess your heart function and coronary circulation as well as your heart valves and greater vessels. It’s a very good test, which doesn’t use radiation.”

From heart monitoring to CT coronary angiograms and MRI scans, we can help you get on top of your heart health with our range of tests and scans. It’s easy to make an appointment; you can ask your Consultant or give us a call on 01580 363158.

If you’re concerned, or would like some advice, speak to your GP or book one that fits around you through our private GP Service.

Published on 08 September 2020