September is dedicated to heart awareness in South Africa, and considering this, we want to ensure our community leads a heart-healthy lifestyle. We have outlined some important, preventative factors that should be included in your everyday life. Heart disease is a very serious issue in South Africa and is often known as the silent killer. After HIV/AIDS, heart disease and stroke are the leading health issue. The Heart Foundation shares that heart disease is responsible for 18% of all deaths in South Africa, and further to those statistics, 120 people suffer from a heart attack daily. See how you can adopt some of the following healthy habits and live life whole-heartedly.
Our environment has a direct effect on our mental and physical well-being. Living in KwaZulu-Natal you can escape or even live alongside beautiful natural environments that can calm your mind and body. Research from a study “Healing Gardens” reveals that two-thirds of people choose a natural setting to retreat. One of the leading issues behind heart disease is the effects of stress, and by changing your environment, you can easily make a positive impact on your heart health.
There is no magic potion to prevent heart disease. By following a healthy lifestyle, which includes eating fresh, nutritious foods and reducing saturated and trans fatty foods in your diet, you can significantly decrease your blood cholesterol. Excessive sugar, along with high salt intake, can result in blood pressure and high blood sugar, and in some cases Type 2 diabetes. Introducing wholesome, organic foods into your diet, such as seasonal vegetables and fruits, nuts and seeds, as well as omega-3 fatty acids found in fish like mackerel, sardines, tuna and salmon will greatly reduce your risk of heart disease.
Exercise not only keeps your body fit and nimble as you age, it has a healthy effect on your heart. Regular cardio exercises such as running, walking or aerobics, among many other benefits, helps strengthen the heart and cardiovascular system, improves circulation, reduces stress and lowers blood pressures.
If you have a busy lifestyle, are still working or running a business, it is important to have some time set aside for yourself. In 2017, a Journal of the American Heart Association stated that meditation may play a role in reducing the risk of heart disease. By setting a little time to meditate or do something that relaxes you, you can reduce stress, anxiety and depression.
In many instances, health conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes, can increase the risk of heart disease. It is vital to have regular checks at your trusted pharmacy or doctor. This is one of the key preventative steps in managing your wellness.
Your heart health is affected by many factors. The key to a healthy heart is to live a well-balanced lifestyle that includes heathy eating and regular exercise for longer happier life.