Red Feb is Heart Disease Awareness Month.
But what is heart disease? It includes stroke, heart attack and heart failure among other conditions (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2015).
More than 90% of Australians have AT LEAST one risk factor for developing heart disease. Women are 4 times more likely to be affected by heart disease than breast cancer (Heart, Research Australia, 2015).
The good news is that most risk factors are modifiable. By making small and smarter lifestyle choices, YOU CAN reduce your risk and avoid being the 1 in 3 Australians affected by heart disease (Heart Research Australia, 2015).
Some of the modifiable risk factors related to exercise include:
Hypertension – Cardiovascular exercise training is the most effective exercise mode in the prevention and treatment of hypertension. Three exercise sessions per week is the minimal frequency for blood pressure reduction. Exercise can be effective without change in body weight (Wallace, 2003).
Diabetes – Exercise helps to control glucose levels in target range and assists insulin to absorb glucose into the body’s cells (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases , 2014).
Excess weight – Overweight adults can achieve significant health benefits from participating in at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise daily aiming towards the recommended 60-90 minutes (Jakicic & Otto, 2006).
How can you increase your longevity and avoid heart disease? Try some of these tips:
Quit smoking and avoid second hand smoke where possible
Discuss with a Dietitian small changes you can make to your diet to perhaps reduce cholesterol levels, management of diabetes or weight loss
Exercise regularly – start with a moderate intensity 30-60 minute walk 3 times a week.
If you or someone you know is interested in making a change, or recovering from a heart disease related illness, contact us. An introductory exercise program can be designed by a Physiotherapist. We help you to avoid injury and develop achievable goals aiming towards long term health.