Top 5 Tips For A Healthy Heart

 

Our Allcare Pharmacists provide their top tips for keeping our hearts happy and healthy.

 

  • Keep your Cholesterol at healthy levels:
  • High cholesterol often doesn’t show any signs or symptoms, so it is important that we get our cholesterol checked regularly. This is a service available at your local Allcare Pharmacy.
  • When there is too much cholesterol in your blood, it builds up in the walls of your arteries, causing a process called atherosclerosis, a form of heart disease. The arteries become narrowed and blood flow to the heart muscle is slowed down or blocked.
  • Factors affecting cholesterol include obesity, diabetes, lack of exercise, smoking, stress, poor diet, age and family history.

 

  • Look after your Blood Pressure
  • Uncontrolled high blood pressure can damage your heart and blood vessels in a variety of ways. We offer  blood pressure testing in all stores and 24-hour blood pressure monitoring (available in selected stores) to support your needs.
  • Factors affecting blood pressure include stress, smoking, being overweight, diabetes and family history.

 

  • Quit Smoking
  • Smoking is one of the main causes of coronary heart disease. Within one year of giving up smoking your risk of heart attack falls to about half that of a smoker.
  • We offer a Smoking Cessation service in store to kickstart your no smoking journey - by asking you a few quick questions about your smoking habits and lifestyle, we can help you choose the product and advise what is best suited to your needs.

 

  • Follow a healthy balanced diet
  • Have 5 to 7 servings of fruit and veg a day. Be mindful of calorie intake and portion size.
  • Eat more oily fish which is rich in omega 3.
  • Try to reduce the amount of saturated fats like butter and trans fats like fried foods and cakes.
  • Be careful of added salt content in processed foods. Adults should eat less than 6g (1 teaspoon) of salt a day in total, as it can impact your blood pressure.
  • Limit your alcohol intake to the low-risk guidelines (hyperlink to HSE: https://www2.hse.ie/wellbeing/alcohol/improve-your-health/weekly-low-risk-alcohol-guidelines.html) for men or women is always very important as drinking more than the low-risk guidelines can be harmful to your heart.

 

  • Manage your stress levels
  • Managing our stress is cardio protective. If you feel stressed, your blood produces more hormones - too many of these hormones continuously and over time can damage your arteries and may lead to high blood pressure or contribute to high cholesterol levels.
  • Exercise is a great stress buster and mood enhancer. Being active can reduce your risk of developing heart disease. We are recommended to do 150 minutes of regular exercise a week divided into five separate 30-minute sessions.

We offer a number of health services at your local Allcare Pharmacy to keep your heart happy and healthy. You can book a full health check for €40 which includes checks for cholesterol, blood pressure, heart rate, blood glucose levels and BMI. You can also discuss smoking cessation with your pharmacist at this check. The Allcare Pharmacist will discuss all your results with you and recommend next steps in your health journey. Call your local store or pop in to book this service!