Out of all the days in the year, today, being Valentine’s Day, seems most fitting to talk all things heart related – including your heart health. 

Although the temptation is to overindulge in chocolates on Valentine’s Day, it’s also an opportunity to pause and think about your own heart health. 

According to The Heart Foundation, someone is killed every 12 minutes by Cardiovascular disease in Australia. This alarming statistic is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to heart disease among Australians.  

Sadly, heart disease is the single leading cause of death. It claimed the lives of more than 18,000 people in 2017, according to The Heart Foundation.  

So today, let’s take time out and make sure we are doing everything we can to keep our heart healthy and functioning well.  

  • Watch your cholesterol intake. Things like butter and oil have high cholesterol and it’s important once you get older, to check with your doctor about monitoring your levels. In 2011/12, 5.6 million Australian adults measured for high cholesterol.  
  • Avoid cigarettes. We all know smoking kills, but as well as affecting our lungs, it plays a big role in declining our heart’s health.  
  • In 2014/15, 63% of Australian adults were obese. It’s important to eat your five veggies and two fruit servings a day and make sure you have a balanced diet. Refined and processed sugar are often the silent killers that can make us become overweight. It’s important to consume everything in moderation.  
  • 65% of Australian adults in 2014/15 did very little to no exercise at all. It’s recommended that you should exercise for at least 30 minutes every day to get your heart rate up and pumping. Exercise produces feel good hormones, energy, and a sense of accomplishment. Start by going for a walk every day and build from there. 

So, before you dig into those chocolates today remember, go for a walk or swap some refined sugar for natural sugar like berries and other fruits.  

Heart health is a topic that we as Australians need to start giving some more love.