Heart health is important. However, because you don’t always immediately see or feel the effects of your lifestyle choices on your heart, it can be easy to become complacent when it comes to looking after your heart.

This doesn’t mean the effects they are having are any less serious though. Heart attacks and heart diseases remain a serious problem in the UK. According to Heart UK, somebody has a heart attack every 7 minutes and The British Heart Foundation say that over 152,000 people die from heart and circulatory diseases, every year.

Clearly, when it comes to your heart, it’s not worth taking any chances, so you need to do whatever you can to keep your heart healthy to help in preventing you from having a heart attack. Cuuver.com has outlined the key ways to help prevent yourself from having a heart attack.

Diet

Keeping your diet under control is one of the main ways you can prevent yourself from suffering a heart attack. As ever, a varied, balanced diet with the right amount of nutrients from each food group is the best way to go.

Limit the amount of foods you have that are high in salt and saturated fats, and keep an eye on how many sweets and how much red meat you eat, too. As well as this, you should also ensure that you get plenty of grains, fruits and vegetables into your diet.

Blood pressure

High blood pressure raises your chances of having a heart attack as it puts extra pressure on your arteries and your heart. One of the leading causes of high blood pressure is stress. If you are finding yourself under a lot of stress on a consistent basis, you need to have a think about how you can manage and reduce this stress. It is a good idea to move away from regular sources of stress where possible. A healthy diet will also help you to keep your blood pressure low.

Smoking

Because of the impact it has on your blood pressure, smoking significantly increases your chances of having a heart attack. This is one of the key reasons why you should stay away from smoking.

If you already smoke, talk to your doctor for methods and tips to help you stop. Although kicking the habit of smoking is always difficult, the range of services available to help you today means that quitting is easier than it has ever been. The NHS provides a stop smoking service and a smoking helpline, if you are looking for help on how to quit, these would be a good place to start.

Alcohol

Alcohol can increase your chances of having a heart attack in a number of ways. Drinking over the recommended amount of alcohol (which is 14 units per week) on a regular basis can raise your blood pressure, which as we already know, puts you at a greater risk of having a heart attack.

However, it is also important to consider the amount of calories that alcoholic drinks contain. People often overlook this, but a single pint of beer can contain as many as 208 calories and a single glass of wine can contain as many as 275 calories. This is likely to lead to weight gain, which will also increase your blood pressure.

Exercise

An active heart is a happy heart. Frequent exercise helps to prevent you from having a heart attack in a number of ways. It improves your cholesterol levels, lowers your blood pressure and helps you to lose weight, which in turn, reduces the strain on your blood pressure.

Getting exercise doesn’t necessarily mean hitting the gym or taking part in a hard hitting, high impact strenuous sport like rugby. More gentle activities such as swimming, cycling or even walking are enough for you to get the exercise your heart needs to stay healthy.