The Exercise Physiologists at Longevity Edgecliff, Lindfield, Marrickville and Randwick strive to keep their client’s heart health at optimum.
In August, the Heart Foundation released new information and dietary advice entitled “New advice from the Heart Foundation on meat, dairy and eggs” which attracted a lot of media attention and prompted everyone to consider their risk of heart disease.
In light of this media release, the Longevity team decided that it was a good time to examine Cardiovascular disease and reflect on the best ways to maintain a healthy heart.
What is Cardiovascular disease?
“Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a collective term for diseases of the heart and blood vessels. The term commonly includes diseases such as coronary heart disease, heart failure, cardiomyopathy, congenital heart disease, peripheral vascular disease and stroke.” – The Department of Health
CVD is the leading cause of death and disease burden in Australia.
What are the risk factors of Cardiovascular Disease?
There are many risk factors associated with CVD. Some are biomedical and/or modifiable (m) with behaviour change and others are considered non-modifiable (nm).
Risk factors include:
- Genetic pre-disposition (nm)
- Ethnicity (nm)
- Advancing Age (nm)
- Gender (nm)
- Smoking (m)
- Poor Diet (m)
- Excessive Alcohol Consumption (m)
- Sedentary Behaviour / Insufficient Physical Activity (m)
- High Cholesterol (m)
- High Blood Sugar (m)
- High Blood Pressure (m)
- Overweight/Obesity (m)
What can I do to keep my heart healthy?
The best place to start is reducing your number of risk factors. For example, reducing smoking, reducing alcohol, increasing physical activity and eating healthier are all steps that can be implemented straight away. These lifestyle changes can significantly improve your health and are important ways to reduce other risk factors such as obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and high blood sugar. You should also consider your health holistically and ensure that you are not only striving for good physical health but also good mental health and social wellbeing.
- Check out “keep your heart healthy” for more information and tips.
I want to make a change! Where do I start?
What are your risk factors? Identify those risk factors that are modifiable in your lifestyle. A great place to start are the Australian Physical Activity Guidelines and The Australian Dietary Guidelines.
Australian Physical Activity Guidelines
- Minimum of 150 mins (2.5 hrs) of moderate intensity physical activity or 75 mins (1.25 hrs) of vigorous intensity physical activity/ week
- Muscle strengthening activities on at least 2 days/week.
Australian Dietary Guidelines
1. To achieve and maintain a healthy weight, be physically active and choose amounts of nutritious food and drinks to meet your energy needs
2. Enjoy a wide variety of nutritious foods from these five groups every day:
- Plenty of vegetables, including different types and colours, and legumes/beans
- Grain (cereal) foods, mostly wholegrain and/or high cereal fibre varieties, such as breads, cereals, rice, pasta, noodles, polenta, couscous, oats, quinoa and barley
- Lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds, and legumes/beans
- Milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or their alternatives, mostly reduced fat (reduced fat milks are not suitable for children under the age of 2 years)
And drink plenty of water.
3. Limit intake of foods containing saturated fat, added salt, added sugars and alcohol
4. Encourage, support and promote breastfeeding
5. Care for your food; prepare and store it safely
If you are not meeting the minimum requirements of these guidelines, consult the advice of a health professional such as your General Practitioner (G.P), Exercise Physiologist and Dietitian.
If you want to make a lifestyle change or would like further information, call Longevity on 1300 964 002.