Give the gift of heart-healthy tips this February 14.
Valentine’s Day is all about celebrating matters of the heart, which makes it a great opportunity to be good to yours and those of your loved ones.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is one of Australia’s largest health problems and affects one in six Australians, or 4.2 million people.
Nine in 10 adult Australians have a least one risk factor for CVD, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, overweight and obesity, physical inactivity, low fruit and vegetable intake and smoking.
This Valentine’s Day, take the time to be good to your heart, says Professor David Celermajer, Director of Echocardiography at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital’s cardiology department.
“Valentine’s Day is a great way to remember your heart and the heart of the ones you love and to keep it healthy,” he said.
Professor Celermajer said there are proven ways to maintain and improve heart health.
“Maintain a healthy body weight; eat a balanced diet with lots of fish, fruits, salads and vegetables and a sensible amount of sugar and fat; exercise at least three times per week and know your cholesterol and blood pressure,” he said.
“If you’re a smoker, QuitLines and counselling can double success rates of quitting.”
February 14 is also a good time to share these heart-healthy tips with your family and friends, Professor Celermejer said.
In particular, the myth that cardiovascular disease is a predominately male issue continues in some parts of the community, when in fact heart, stroke and blood vessel diseases affect both men and women.
“Women are at as much risk as men over their lifetime,” Professor Celermejer said.
“Don’t ignore chest pains or breathlessness as they can be warning signs of heart problems.”
This year, be a healthy Valentine by planning an activity that incorporates physical activity, treat yourself to a nutritious meal and go easy on the wine and chocolates.
Because taking care of your heart is the best Valentine’s gift you can give.