Boosting your heart health

When it comes to looking after the heart, Australians aren't doing as well as we could be.

With one in six people being affected by cardiovascular disease (CVD), it is one of the main causes of death in Australia and is a national health priority.1 The Heart Foundation states CVDs affect two out of three families and prevent 1.4 million people from living life to the full, through disabilities related to the disease. Additionally, around 55,000 Australians suffer a heart attack every year.1

The main risk factors include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, lack of exercise, being overweight, low fruit and vegetable intake, alcohol and smoking.

With 9 in 10 adult Australians having at least one risk factor and 25% of Australians having three or more risk factors1, it's more important than ever to focus on boosting your heart health and improving your general wellbeing.

Top tips for staying heart healthy

CVDs may be one of the leading causes of death in Australia, but there are many preventive actions you can take to help maintain a healthier blood pressure level and look after your heart.

One of the best things you can do is to get more active. It's recommended to do at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most days of the week, and more if you can manage it.2

Weight plays an important role in heart health. Getting more exercise and implementing healthier eating habits will help with weight management. Cutting back on salt, excess alcohol, trans and saturated fats can also have a positive effect on your cholesterol and blood pressure.

Getting more of the good stuff - such as leafy green vegetables, fruits, fibre and protein - into your diet will also help your heart. A gluten free diet may also boost cardiovascular health as it automatically cuts out many of the foods that contain harmful fats and other ingredients.

Looking after your health

Taking a proactive approach to your health is a great way to give you peace of mind that you can enjoy your life to the full with your family and loved ones.

Looking after the physical side of your health is important, but if you should need any treatment in the future, it's helpful to know you have a plan in place to afford it. Arranging health insurance will give you cover for a range of treatments, procedures and medical services depending on the terms of your policy.

Your health is your best asset, and insurance can be invaluable in protecting it throughout the years. Many providers offer cover for heart surgeries and other treatments designed to target cardiovascular issues, so you can tailor your level of cover to accommodate for this aspect.

Carrying out a health fund comparison will let you see what level of protection different policies can offer you in terms of cardiovascular care.

  1. Heart Foundation - Data and Statistics
  2. Department of Health | An Active Way to Better Health PDF

These articles are provided as reference material to allow more informed decision making, but are not intended as being a complete source of information on any topic. All readers should make their own independent analysis on the topic to make sure they have considered the aspects that are important to them.