Heart health is a serious topic in Australia. Every ten minutes, one person in Australia has a heart attack, with heart disease being the number one killer worldwide claiming the lives of 17.3 million people globally.
Statistics like this can be sobering, but the more information we have at our disposal, the better equipped we are to ensure we’re looking after our hearts in the best way possible.
Leading integrative cardiologist, Dr Ross Walker, shares five of the best ways to keep your heart healthy.
- Take control of your health
It’s essential to be aware of your heart and your predisposition to heart disease. Are you a smoker? Do you have a family history of cardiovascular disease? Are you overweight? When was the last time you visited a doctor for a heart check-up? Answering these questions means you will not only improve awareness of your heart health, but can also determine the areas you can work on to prevent disease later down the track.
- Understand the role of Ubiquinol and Heart Health
If you have a predisposition to heart disease, or you are one of the 2.8 million Australians taking statin medication for high LDL cholesterol levels, then you’ve probably heard about Coenzyme Q10 (or CoQ10), a naturally occurring anti-oxidant in your body. But you may not have heard of Ubiquinol, the more easily absorbed form of CoQ10, responsible for providing your cells with energy. Ubiquinol has been shown to help maintain a healthy heart and vascular system as well as healthy LDL cholesterol levels in healthy people. If you’re feeling low in energy or want to give your heart some extra support, the benefits of Ubiquinol are plentiful.
Speak to your health practitioner before adding a supplement to your diet.
- Be weight aware
Two in three adults in Australia are overweight or obese, and are therefore at increased risk of developing heart disease. Taking control of your diet and exercise routine is key to optimising your health. Make sure you understand your basic measurements, including waist circumference BMI. This can give you a better idea of where you sit in terms of your weight and overall health. Forget fad diets and cutting out food groups – consult a nutritionist and learn about making simple swaps to healthy, unprocessed foods.
- Be Active
Science has shown that exercise not only benefits your weight and mental health, but also specifically for your heart. Studies have shown that it may actually lower blood pressure and support your cardiovascular endurance. Find an exercise you enjoy, whether it be power-walking, pole-dancing, or even swimming and aim to move for 30 minutes a day.
- Keep check of your emotional health
Stress and anxiety can wreak havoc on our health and should be taken seriously. It’s not necessarily an issue of how stressed you are, but how you’re dealing with it. It’s important to express your feelings and find ways to manage your stress. Stress can trigger the release of particular hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, which can impact your blood pressure and heart rate.
Remember, always consult your healthcare professional for advice on changes to diet or exercise regime and any supplementation.
Always read the label. If symptoms persist, consult your healthcare practitioner.