Keeping your Ticker Tickin’
Your heart is certainly a small muscle (about the size of your two hands clasped together) but what it lacks in size it makes up for in work – beating 100,000 times per day and pumping more than 7,000 litres around your body in the same timeframe.
There’s no denying the heart is important, which is why Dr Kaylene Ferguson from Omega Health Medical Centre asks if you’re taking care of it properly.
“It’s a scary fact that, here in Australia, nearly every adult (84 per cent) is at risk of heart disease,” said Dr Ferguson, “This can include any condition where your blood vessels become narrower or are completely blocked.
“The disease is more likely to affect men, and is usually associated with poor lifestyle choices such as a bad diet, excessive alcohol consumption, smoking and lack of exercise – all of which contribute to being overweight and having high blood pressure and cholesterol.”
Dr Ferguson said that the best way to take care of your heart is to make sure you have a healthy lifestyle. She recommends:
• Manage your cholesterol and blood pressure. “Too much cholesterol in your blood can put you at risk of a heart attack, while high blood pressure is one of the main risk factors of heart disease”.
• Exercise regularly. “Regular, moderate exercise is one of the best things you can do for your heart. Make time in your day to get away from the work desk and be physically active.”
• Choose a smoke-free lifestyle. “Smoking severely impacts the blood vessels that carry blood around your body, and reduces the amount of oxygen in your blood. It also increases your risk of heart attack and heart disease”.
• Eat healthy foods. “A nutritious diet is excellent for helping you better manage your blood pressure, cholesterol and weight. More specifically, to prevent heart disease, you should reduce the amount of salt, saturated fats, trans fats and alcohol in your diet.”
“Taking care of your heart is straight-forward. It just requires you to be more conscious of what’s going into your body, and staying active,” said Dr Ferguson.
“Talk to your family doctor to find out more about your risk level of heart disease, and how you can better manage that risk.”
Dr Ferguson is one of the many experienced GPs at Omega Health Medical Centre in Cairns. The Centre is open until late every day of the year to care for you and your family. Make an appointment by calling 4032 6754.