Lifestyle Tips for a Healthier Heart

Heart health is crucial for a fulfilling life, yet cardiovascular disease remains one of Australia’s biggest health challenges. In 2024, it’s estimated that over 4.5 million Australians live with heart disease. High cholesterol and high blood pressure are key risk factors for heart disease and stroke. Here, we look at reducing these risks with some simple lifestyle tips.

Eat a Heart-Healthy Diet

Eating a heart-healthy diet can help you manage and reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. Include a variety of nutritious foods in your diet, like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Incorporate omega-3-rich foods like salmon and flaxseeds to lower blood pressure and reduce inflammation. Look for fats that are good for your heart—such as those found in nuts, seeds, and olive oil—while cutting down on your salt and sugar intake. Small changes in your diet can make a big difference to your heart health.

Easy Moves for Every Ability

Gentle exercise is vital for older adults or people living with disability, and staying active promotes a healthy heart. Aim to walk for at least 150 minutes per week. You can do this in smaller portions, like a 30-minute walk five days a week. Alternatively, try exercises such as water aerobics or chair exercises two to three times per week. These activities are low-impact and can also boost your cardiovascular fitness. Additionally, they can help with flexibility and strength while supporting heart health.

Breathe and Drink for Your Heart

Quitting smoking and limiting alcohol will definitely lower your risk of heart disease, but it is not always easy to do. Understanding the risks associated with smoking may help. Smoking damages blood vessels that lead to your heart and brain. This damage significantly increases your risk of heart attacks, strokes, or sudden cardiac death. If you’re finding it hard to quit smoking, please seek support. Talk to your GP or call Quitline on 137 848. As for alcohol, drink it in moderation. The Heart Foundation recommends no more than ten standard drinks per week. However, the less you drink, the better your heart.

*For personalised advice, especially if you have a heart condition, always consult your doctor.

Hello Relaxation, Goodbye Stress

Here’s a lesser-known tip for improving heart health: reduce stress and enhance relaxation. Techniques such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing can help lower stress, which can help lower blood pressure and improve heart health. Taking time for relaxation can lead to long-term benefits for your heart and overall wellbeing.

At Simply Helping, we’re here to support you in nurturing a healthier heart and lifestyle. Whether it’s through meal preparation, transport to medical appointments, or offering companionship during your walks, our services are designed to assist. Together, we can take steps toward a heart-healthier life.