Calculated cardiovascular Risk

Look after your heart by eating healthily
Many of us dash off to work, skipping breakfast, relying on caffeine, sugar and high-carbohydrate, fat-laden foods to sustain us through our stressful day. The business of work leaves little time for exercise and relaxation. Smoke breaks are used to help break the stress cycle at work, and alcohol for relaxation in the evenings  or weekends.

As we continue living these lifestyles, we ignore the increasing probability of a dangerous path to ill-health, including raised blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart attack, stroke and cancer. There are multiple benefits to early lifestyle interventions and health promotion, particularly in the workplace. Healthy lifestyle choices not only prevent and reduce long-term disease, but improve current functional well-being, increase productivity and reduce absenteeism.

The good news
With the right support and advice, we can reduce our cardiovascular risk and maintain ongoing, optimum health. While cholesterol, blood pressure and type 2 diabetes may have some genetic aspects, healthy lifestyle choices in terms of food and nutrition, exercise, stopping smoking and stress management are first-line strategies for the management and prevention of these conditions.

Consulting a doctor for a regular checkup is an essential part of health
maintenance and management. A Mediterranean diet offers nutritional benefits of sustained energy and phytochemical nutrients for the management and prevention of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and their precursors. It focuses on low-glycaemic load (low GI), colourful, fresh, whole, non-processed foods and good fats in frequent, small meals.

Daily, moderate exercise helps to reduce high blood pressure, cholesterol and stress levels. Walking is a great way to start increasing fitness with the help of a friend, group or personal trainer to offer encouragement and accountability.

A good stretch routine allows for a few minutes of deep, belly breathing for stress reduction. Sufficient, good-quality sleep is essential to stress modification.
If work is overloaded, time management tools and delegation may help. Short breaks from the work station for a walk around or a stretching and breathing session may help break the stress cycle.

Stopping smoking is a necessary challenge that can be supported through therapy, 
medication or smoking cessation strategies. By modifying lifestyle choices to healthy, nutritious food and drink, daily exercise, modifying stress, and stopping smoking, we will reduce our risk of heart attack, stroke, type 2 diabetes and cancer, and provide our bodies with the essentials for functional productivity and long-term, beautiful ageing.

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Issue 16


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