tim-marshall-114623.jpgTick tock, tick tock.

Hear that sound? No, it’s not a clock. No, it’s not your dementia. It’s your heart.

You probably don’t pay that much attention to it. Well, TQUK is here to set that right.

Your heart is important. (Just in case you didn’t know.) According to the British Heart Foundation heart disease causes more than a quarter of all deaths in the UK, that’s almost 160,000 deaths each year – an average of 435 people each day or one death every three minutes.

Maintaining a healthy heart is all about starting as early as possible. Like anything else, your heart will get better the better care of it you take.

TQUK knows quite a lot about this subject. Our roots as an awarding organisation are in First Aid, and we work regularly with great organisations like defibshop and Hand on Heart, who are dedicated to maintaining heart health and preventing cardiac events through the ubiquitous and strategic placement of defibrillators. The heart health of this country is very important to TQUK. We want to help you increase your heart health any way we can. So here are the BHF’s 8 Ways to Prevent Heart Disease for National Heart Month.

Healthy Eating

You know the old saying: you are what you eat. Taken literally, it’s a bit of a silly saying. You’re not going to turn into a pasty of you eat lunch at Gregg’s. But there is wisdom to it. If you consume excessive amounts of sugar, fat and salt, you will negatively affect the health of your heart. Having a balanced diet will significantly reduce your risk of high cholesterol, diabetes and high blood pressure.

Balanced diets tend to include a lot fruits, vegetables, beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meats, dairy alternatives, potatoes, bread, rice, pasta and other starchy carbohydrates.

Try to reduce the amount of processed foods and foods high in salt, fat and sugar.

Portion control is also a good way to control your intake. Here are some tips you can use to control how much food you eat.

Staying active

There’s an old saying for someone tough: that they have a “thick skin”. What this means is obvious: the more strain and hardship someone goes through, the stronger and more able they are to weather such strain and hardship in the future.

So it is with your heart. It is important to give your heart a good workout as often as possible. The stronger your heart is, the more likely it will be to withstand strain in old age.

Click here to check out the BHF’s 9 ways to improve your heart health.

Take the 10 minute challenge

Sometimes it’s the little things. Small actions, taken over time, can accumulate and create an impressive whole that could not be achieved in short bursts.

This principle easily applies to maintaining heart health. There’s loads of things that you could do to improve your heart health in just 10 minutes, from getting moving to eating well. See how you can decrease your risk of heart disease in just ten minutes here.

Controlling your weight.

Yeah, you knew it was true. But you didn’t want to believe it. Tough.

One of the best ways to increase your heart health is to control your weight. Finding out what weight would be right for you can be determined easily by measuring your height, weight, body-mass index and waist size. Click here for some helpful guidelines to shed that spare tire.

Smoking

Unless you’ve been living under a rock since the 50s, you know that smoking is all-around bad for you. Quitting smoking is the single best thing you can do to improve your heart health, and the benefits of quitting increase significantly once you do

There’s loads of methods to help you quit smoking. Click here for more information on the benefits of quitting and the various methods available.

Alcohol

Just like eating loads and loads of junk food, excess consumption of alcohol can negatively affect your health. Drinking more than the recommended amount of alcohol can cause abnormal heart rhythms, high blood pressure, damage your heart muscle and other diseases, such a stroke, liver problems and some cancers.

Find out the recommended amounts of alcohol to drink and how you can regulate your alcohol consumption to improve your heart health.

Reducing stress

You might’ve read our blog on the dangers of stress. If you haven’t you best read it, post haste. (But don’t get stressed about it.)

Stress can affect all aspects of your health, including increasing your risk for bad heart health. There’s a lot of things you can do to reduce your stress level, including having a balanced diet and engaging in regular physical activity, among other things.

Decompress, man. Find out how here.

Your ethnicity and heart disease

Medical research tells us that your ethnicity can indeed affect how at risk you may be for cardiovascular disease. If you have Bangladeshi, Indian, Pakistani or Afro-Caribbean background, you may have a higher risk for various aspects of cardiovascular disease, including heart disease, stroke and cardiomyopathy.

It is important to know your risk factors so you can act accordingly. For more information, click here.

Are you taking good care of your heart? Did we miss any effective ways of reducing your risk of heart disease? Let us know by tweeting us @tq_uk.

To get more incisive commentary on the FE sector, return to our blog or follow us on  FacebookTwitterInstagram and LinkedIn.

See you out there!