Love your heart

Every February the British Heart Foundation celebrates Heart Month.

Heart Month was created to inform and highlight the dangers of Heart Disease. Heart Disease is responsible for more than 73,000 deaths a year. 2.3 million people are living with CHD (Coronary Heart Disease) and 2 million people are affected by Angina.

Sadly, Heart Disease is known as the ‘silent killer’. Unlike many other serious conditions, you can have a heart condition but you may not suffer from any symptoms. Therefore, people are unaware that they are suffering from it.

If symptoms do appear they could include:

  • Chest pains
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Faintness

However, not everybody would have these as they vary from person to person.

What is the risk to me?

Not to put a doom and gloom on things, but Heart Disease could affect everybody. It is not an old person’s disease. If you are or have been suffering from any of the above symptoms, it is advisable to get it checked out by your doctor.

As a freelancer or contractor, we know how much energy you put into working on your client’s projects. A recent survey showed that 53% of contractors had not taken a sick day in the last 2 years. This doesn’t mean that contractors don’t get sick. It means that even when they are sick they carry on working, even if it means that it could take them longer to recuperate.

Your busy lifestyle means that it is very easy for you to ignore or not notice when you don’t feel well.

It’s important to stop and take stock of our health every now and again. It could save your life.

Prevention is always better than cure.

Consider doing the following to help prevent Heart Disease:

  • Having a balanced diet
    Incorporate lots of fruit and veg into your diet.
    Cut back on sugary foods and drinks.
    Reduce the amount of saturated fats you eat.
    Include foods that contain unsaturated foods.
  • Get active
    Be aware of how often (or not) you move.
    Go out for a walk at lunchtime.
    Take the stairs instead of the lift (maybe not if you are on the 14th floor, though!)
    Join a gym.
  • Maintain a healthy weight
    If you eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly you should be able to maintain a healthy weight. If you are unsure what your ideal weight should be, ask your doctor. Avoid fad diets and extreme exercise routines.

And, if you do smoke, it is best to think about stopping.

For more information on Heart Month and Heart Disease, visit the British Heart Foundation website.