Expert recommends daily activity to better heart health
Simple Test for a Healthy Heart | Nuffield Health
Dr Watson, from Wellgood Wellbeing, elaborated: “Walking lowers blood pressure, reduces the risk of diabetes and lowers cholesterol.”
A healthy blood pressure reading is between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg, the NHS says.
As for diabetes, too much sugar in the blood can damage the blood vessels that supply the heart with oxygenated blood.
And high levels of cholesterol can clump together and settle along artery walls, thereby restricting blood flow to the heart.
Dr Watson told Stylist that taking steps every day boosts levels of HDL (high-density lipoprotein) which, in turn, lowers levels of LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol.
Thus, by walking, you are able to protect the heart from blood glucose and bad cholesterol.
The NHS recommends everybody to move for at least 150 minutes each week.
To have it count towards improved cardiovascular health, it’s crucial that you feel that little bit warmer while walking.
In addition to incorporating walking into your daily life, another area you can work on to improve your heart health is nutrition.
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Nutritionist Hannah Hope said: “Lowering red meat consumption can help to reduce cholesterol and support your heart health.
“Rather than opting for red meat, aim for a diet high in fruits, vegetables, oily fish and poultry.”
British Heart Foundation dietitian Victor Taylor added: “Most of us could benefit from a traditional Mediterranean-style diet.
“This means eating less meat, and more fish and plant-based protein, such as lentils, nuts and seeds, but also plenty of fruit, vegetables and wholegrains.”
How to protect your heart
The Mayo Clinic urges people to refrain from smoking or using tobacco – or even inhaling secondhand smoke.
“Chemicals in tobacco can damage the heart and blood vessels,” the organisation notes.
“Cigarette smoke reduces the oxygen in the blood, which increases blood pressure and heart rate because the heart has to work harder to supply enough oxygen to the body and brain.”
If you want to get your blood pressure, blood sugar levels or cholesterol checked, visit your GP or speak to your local pharmacist.
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