Many of us will be giving our hearts away in the tradition of Valentine’s Day, but have you made sure that the heart you’re giving is a healthy one?
NHS East Lancashire & NHS Blackburn with Darwen Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) want us to use this Valentine’s Day to have a serious think about our hearts because keeping your heart healthy is one of 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 thumping.
Prof Umesh Chauhan a GP lead within Pennine Lancashire said:
“Anyone of any age can take steps to keep their heart healthy.
“You don’t have to take massive steps like joining a gym or radically changing your meals, but make little changes. Try a new fruit or vegetable, drink a little less alcohol, go a street further than you usually would when you’re taking the dog for a walk or leave the car at home if it’s a short journey.
“Keeping an eye on your weight and trying to manage your stress levels will also go a long way to help prevent heart disease.
“Our hearts are the most important muscle in our bodies, so we should all take steps to make sure we keep it going for as long as possible.”
You can find out your heart age and steps to keep your heart healthy on the NHS Choices website: https://www.nhs.uk/tools/pages/heartage.aspx
There are certain symptoms you should watch out for too. Chest pains, dizziness, shortness of breath and tiredness 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).
It’s estimated that nearly 2.46% of people in East Lancashire and 2.04% in Blackburn with Darwen
could have AF, but might not know it. If you are concerned about any of these symptoms, call NHS111 for more advice. It’s a FREE call number and gives confidential health guidance and advice, 24/7, 365 days a year.