Love is in the air this Valentine’s Day amongst the young and the “not so young”. Cupid’s Arrow is destined to set millions of hearts a – fluttering! However, not in all cases is a heart flutter such a good thing.
According to the Irish Heart Foundation, approximately 10,000 people die each year from cardiovascular disease (CVD) – including coronary heart disease, stroke and other circulatory diseases.
CVD is the most common cause of death in Ireland, accounting for 36% of all deaths. The largest number of these deaths relate to coronary heart disease – mainly heart attack – at 5,000.
Home Instead Senior Care is urging people of all ages to be “heart – aware” this Valentine’s Day and to become more alert to the risk factors which influence and increase their chances of getting heart disease.
According to Danette Connolly, Director of Care at Home Instead Senior Care Waterford, our hearts are amazing, but we don’t always recognise it. “The heart beats about 100,000 times in one day and about 35 million times in a year. During an average lifetime, the human heart will beat more than 2.5 billion times. That’s a staggering amount of work for such a small muscle.”
“Yet often we fail to look after our hearts and the consequences can be fatal. By smoking, being overweight, not exercising, having high cholesterol or high blood pressure, we put our hearts at risk.”
Ms. Connolly advised that small changes to our lifestyle can have a beneficial effect on our heart health.
Stopping smoking greatly reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Reducing high blood cholesterol is crucial in reducing heart attacks. Some steps to help lower cholesterol include eating more fruit and vegetables and less fatty foods.
Try to maintain a healthy weight. People who are overweight or obese for a long time tend to develop heart disease and / or diabetes. By losing small amounts of weight sensibly, the chances of heart disease decrease and can lead to improved health.
Another important step in keeping your heart strong is to be more active every day.
Ms. Connolly added, “The older we get, the more at risk we are of heart disease. However making some small, gradual changes today can make a difference for a healthier and happier heart.”
To find out more about looking after your heart call Danette Connolly of Home Instead Senior Care on 051 333966 or visit www.homeinstead.ie