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World Heart Day

Your heart really is the main engine of your body and just like any engine, to keep it running smoothly and efficiently you have to look after it.

There are several risk factors for heart disease from obesity to smoking. Your heart is prone to several dangers but fortunately there are a lot of things that we can directly influence to help keep our hearts healthy

Controllable Risk Factors:

  • Obesity - Staying within a healthy weight range reduces the stress and strain on the heart as well as other muscles and joints in the body.  If you are worried about your weight, have a look at NLLs Weigh to Go Programme or contact the NLL Nutritionist for additional help
  • Physical Inactivity- The Scottish Government recommends that adults do a minimum of 150minutes exercise a week (5 x 30mins at a time is good) and also a couple of sessions of weights and flexibility work for great overall good health. Find an activity that you enjoy and vary your workouts so you don’t get bored but also importantly so your body does not get used to the activity and you stop benefiting from it. You do need to challenge yourself to make a change! During the Covid Pandemic, it has been great to see so many people out and about walking and cycling which is free and also connects us to green spaces within our communities. Reducing stress through meditation, yoga, mindfulness as well as m
  • High blood pressure  - This is a major risk factor when it comes to heart disease. Managing salt and alcohol intake can really help with blood pressure as well as keeping within a healthy weight range and reducing smoking.
  • Low cholesterol – By reducing saturated fats in your diet, certain levels of unhealthy cholesterol can be reduced in your bloodstream which can reduce the likelihood of a blockage in your arteries leading to a heart attack. Another way you can help lower your cholesterol for good heart health, is to eliminate trans fats from your diet, eat foods rich in Omega 3 Oils such as oily fish like Mackerel or salmon.
  • Smoking – Reducing or stopping smoking will have distinct advantages for your health. Smoking increases your heart rate, tightens major arteries and can cause an irregular heart rhythm all of which make your heart work harder than it needs to, additionally smoking increases your blood pressure which can lead to stroke.

Uncontrollable Risk Factors:

  • Family history
  • Gender
  • Age

NLL offers a diverse range of fitness activities to help keep you fit and active with a huge range of group fitness classes as well as bespoke gym programmes running on a weekly basis at venues throughout NL.

If something does happen to your heart we also deliver 2 cardiac specific classes (Cardio I and Cardio II) which run in partnership with NHS Lanarkshire as a referral service for anyone who has been affected by a heart issue. These classes are free of charge for 20 sessions and are led by specialist cardiac rehabilitation instructors who will take you through an evidenced based programme of activity for a safe and effective rehabilitation.

For further information about any of the information above, please contact Melanie.menzies@nlleisure.com or have a look through these websites;

British Heart Foundation Website

NHS Inform Scotland Website

Quit with help stop smoking website

SAMH for Scotlands Mental Health Website

Paths For All Website

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