Tips for all year round heart health
MANAGING our heart health during winter is really about following a set of basic actions that will benefit our health all year round.
ATP Science naturopath practitioner Stephen Eddey reminds us, "cold weather means our body has to increase its metabolism to keep warm.
"When you increase your metabolism, you increase your heart rate and your blood pressure. That causes a mild stress on the heart. So, if your heart it not strong enough, that mild stress can be enough to tip you over the edge and can cause heart attacks which is why heart attacks increase during winter."
Stephen offers six tips for countering this risk.
- Become fitter by doing regular exercise every day. "The only bad exercise is the one your not doing," Stephen said.
- A morning walk, swimming, resistance exercises in the gym - any exercise that puts a mild stress on your heart.
- Take ubiquinol. "If you are over 60, and a lot of people take a medication for their heart called a statin drug, those drugs decrease the level of coenzymes q10, so you need to replace that by taking a supplement containing ubiquinol," Stephen said.
- They can be purchased from any health food store, naturopath or pharmacy.
3. Cadio test
- Get your GP to give you a comprehensive cardio vascular health test.
- Also talk to the GP about your risk factors for heart disease.
4. Fish oils
- Take fish oil supplements that contain EPA and DHA.
- They can be purchased from the supermarket, health food store, naturopath or pharmacy.
5. Eat well
- Include lots of fruits, vegetables, salad and cold water fish such as salmon in your diet.
- Minimise refined grains and carbohydrates, and trans fats.
6. Reduce stress
"Reduce the stress levels in your life, and start enjoying life by de-stressing which is probably the fourth pillar of health," Stephen added.