To understand how to improve your heart health, you need to understand some of the causes of a bad heart. 

Unhealthy lifestyle habits are a factor in decreasing the health of your heart. A poor diet is one, whether you are overweight, a healthy weight or underweight if your diet consists of mainly saturated fats, sugar and high salt content you are at risk of a high blood pressure, diabetes and a range of heart conditions. Another unhealthy habit that substantially increases the likelihood of heart problems is lack of exercise, this is because inactivity causes fatty materials to gradually build up in your arteries which could result in clogged up arteries. Smoking is another lifestyle choice that affects your cardiovascular health as the chemicals you breath in can damage the heart and your blood vessels. These are all extreme cases however the majority of people do at least one of these habits. 

To improve your heart and your overall health, we recommend you try and adjust those bad lifestyle habits. Poor diets can be altered by including fruits and vegetables, starchy food such as bread and micronutrients such as vitamin E and C into your daily meals. Foods high in sugar, saturated fat and high salt content should be limited too. Start slowly by adding a fruit and some vegetables into your usual diet each day, increasing the amount each week. 

Lack of exercise for the average person is a growing problem within the UK. According to the British Heart Foundation, more than 20 million people in the Uk are physically inactive. A BHF analysis found on the BBC website also concluded that the average man spends a fifth of his life sitting in the UK, for women around 74 days a year. Work, family and personal reasons can be an extreme factor in why people don’t have time to dedicate to exercise. However your heart depends on activity and without it, heart disease will be a likely result, even for those who have no other risk factors. The government website says, “Adults in England should aim to take part in at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity each week, in bouts of 10 minutes or more from the UK Chief  Medical Officers.”

It is so crucial for your cardiovascular health that you give plenty of time to do more physical activity, even if that is just walking your dog. 

Smoking is a habit that many took on when they were younger, and when you consume nicotine in both cigarettes and vapes, the chemical dopamine is released in the brain. This makes nicotine highly addictive and a habit many find impossible to stop. However the consequences of excessive smoking are extremely harmful for your heart and overall health.  We recommend to those who smoke to try nicotine replacement therapy and to avoid triggers that enable your smoking. Physical activity, especially aerobic exercise has been shown through studies to reduce the urge to smoke. It is one of the hardest habits to break but with help and perseverance it is possible and will be a great benefit to your health.

The British Heart foundation found that there are 7.6 million people currently living with a heart or circulatory disease in the UK. In honour of heart month, educating others on risk factors that decrease cardiovascular health is important. All three of these lifestyle habits can be reduced. Slowly and with time you can improve your food consumption, your activity level each day and your nicotine intake with the steps we have given you.