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13 February 2007

Heart health on Valentine's Day

It's St Valentine's Day and what better time to think of your heart health? The Heart Foundation of Southern Africa compiled the following tips.

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It's St Valentine's Day and what better time to think of your heart health? The Heart Foundation of Southern Africa compiled the following tips:

1. Stop smoking for the sake of your children

  • A child growing up in a smoker's household has inhaled 102 packs by his 5th birthday
  • Seven million South Africans smoke, 80% have tried to quit smoking at least once, and 90% started smoking before the age of 18
  • Smoking is the single greatest cause of heart disease
  • Smoking inhibits the flow of blood to the heart

2. Eat a wide variety of food and everything in moderation

  • Limit fat, sugar and salt intake
  • Boost fibre intake and aim for five servings of fruit and vegetables a day
  • Don't skip breakfast – it's the most important meal of the day

3. Aim for your ideal weight but don't lose more than 1 kg per week

  • 50% of South Africans are overweight
  • Being overweight puts undue strain on the heart
  • Avoid quick-fix fad diets

4. Get active – get breathless, but not speechless

  • Aim to do a total of 30 minutes of physical activity per day
  • Don't overdo it - you should be conscious of your breathing but still be able to hold a conversation

5. Get tested for the silent killers

  • There are no visible symptoms for high blood pressure and high cholesterol – you need to get tested
  • A third of all South Africans are at risk of heart disease

- (Health24)

 
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