Many of us will be giving our hearts away for the tradition of Valentine’s Day, but have you made sure that the heart you are giving is a healthy one?
NHS East Lancashire & NHS Blackburn with Darwen Clinical Commissioning Groups want us to use this Valentine’s Day to have a serious think about our hearts because keeping your heart healthy is the most important thing you can do, whatever your age.
Eating a healthy balanced diet, being more physically active, reducing alcohol and giving up smoking are just some of the steps to take to keep your heart healthy and strong.
Dr Santhosh Davis, a GP and a clinical lead for Blackburn with Darwen and East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Groups, said:
“Anyone of any age can take steps to keep their heart healthy. With coronavirus still in circulation, we have not been able to exercise as much as we would normally though. It has been difficult for many people not being able to go to the gym, but we can make little changes. Try an online work out, drink a little less alcohol, go on a local walk with your household members or take the dog. Even do a dance around your living room, anything really to just get yourself moving and a little more active.
“Keeping an eye on your weight and trying to manage your stress levels will also go a long way to help prevent heart disease.”
So, how healthy really is your heart? You can find out your heart age and steps to keep your heart healthy on the NHS Choices website: www.nhs.uk/conditions/nhs-health-check/check-your-heart-age-tool/
The Heart Age Test tells you your heart age compared to your real age. You’ll also find out: roughly how many years you can add to your heart age by making lifestyle changes, why your blood pressure and cholesterol levels are so important to your heart age and how to reduce your heart age through diet and exercise.
There are certain symptoms you should watch out for too. Chest pains, dizziness and shortness of breath could be signs that something may not be right with your heart.
These symptoms along with noticeable palpitations, where your heart feels like it’s pounding, fluttering or beating irregularly, could be signs of Atrial Fibrillation (AF). Always remember to call 999 immediately if you or someone else shows signs of having a heart attack or if you are in a life-threatening emergency.
If you are concerned about any of these symptoms, call NHS 111 for more advice. It’s a FREE number where you can access confidential health guidance and advice, 24/7, 365 days a year.
Get advice about coronavirus and atrial fibrillation from the British Heart Foundation: www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/coronavirus-and-you