Healthy Heart Top Tips!

Here at LloydsPharmacy, we are working in partnership with the Irish Heart Foundation to raise awareness of how to prevent cardiovascular heart disease and stroke.

Sadly, every hour, someone in Ireland suffers from a stroke. Every day, hundreds of Irish people are diagnosed with heart disease. And up to 10,000 die each year, which makes heart disease and stroke one of Ireland’s biggest killer diseases.

Here are the top three things we recommend for a Happy Healthy Heart!

Healthy Eating

Fad diets are not effective for long-term weight loss. Losing weight too quickly can leave you tired and hungry, so you give up, regaining the weight as quickly as it came off. Keep your focus on the habits you want to change rather than on an ‘all or nothing’ approach. So rather than thinking about all the foods you feel you must give up or go without, why not see the new year as a time to embrace a whole new way of eating healthily for the good of your heart.

When it comes to maintaining a heart-healthy diet, remember that alcohol is high in sugar and calories and drinking more than the recommended amount can be harmful to your heart. For women, the recommended maximum limit is 11 standard drinks a week and for men it is 17 standard drinks a week. A standard drink is half a pint of beer or a small glass of wine.

Exercise

A study published last year in the Lancet Global Health journal found that one in three women and one in four men worldwide did not get enough exercise to stay healthy, meaning that 1.4 billion adults were at greater risk of cardiovascular diseasetype 2 diabetes, dementia, and some cancers due to a lack of physical activity.

We all know that regular exercise is good for your heart while inactivity greatly increases your risk of heart disease and stroke. All it takes is 30 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise five days a week to keep your heart healthy. It can be difficult to find an extra half an hour in our busy days so why not try to work exercise into your day instead. You don’t have to be a top athlete, simply walking for 30 minutes a day is a great way to get active in 2019.

Sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial for heart health. In fact, the World Health Organisation has said that poor sleep should be considered a modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular disease along with smoking, lack of exercise and poor diet.

In 2016 the American Heart Association released a scientific statement on the association between the duration and quality of sleep and cardiovascular disease. The statement found that sleep issues, especially not sleeping enough, obstructive sleep apnoea (five or more pauses in breathing per hour of sleep) and insomnia can influence the risk of obesity, high blood pressureType 2 diabetes, stroke, coronary heart disease and overall cardiovascular disease.

What the doctor recommends?

Asked for her top tips for a healthy heart in 2019, Dr Angie Brown, Consultant Cardiologist and Medical Director of the Irish Heart Foundation recommended, a healthy diet, drinking less alcohol, exercising more and getting good quality sleep.

You can avail of a free blood pressure check at your local LloydsPharmacy.

Read the full article at The Irish Heart Foundation

Mini Marathon Top Tips!

Copy of Low Carb Crustless Quiche (3)

Fuel fuel fuel yourself

Nutrition plays a huge part in your training and you need make sure your body is in the best shape possible by eating the right stuff.

  • 65% of your total calories should come from complex carbs, approximately 20% from unsaturated fats, and 10% from protein.
  • Load your diet with carbs the week before the marathon so that your body is prepared for the physical challenge. (Chip butty anyone?)
  • Don’t eat too much the day of the race, since the food might feel heavy in your stomach and slow you down. Porridge is a great slow burning food for the morning of the race.

Stay hydrated in pre-marathon days

In the days leading up to the race make especially sure that you’re well hydrated.

  • As you go on longer runs, practice carrying a water bottle with you, either in your hand or around your waist, so you can stay hydrated as you run.
  • Avoid drinking excessive alcohol and caffeine in the days before the race, since these dehydrate your body.

Rest up the days leading up to the race

The last long run of your training should be several days before the race, so your body has plenty of time to recover. The day before the race, rest or do an easy run, but don’t work out too strenuously. You’ll want to keep yourself primed for race day.

Enjoy the race and have fun!

The Women’s Mini-Marathon is alot of fun and there is great camaraderie on the day. Remember to enjoy yourself! Make sure you pace yourself so you’ll be able to cross the finish line.

  • You know your own body best. Whether you choose to walk, run or do both remember to listen to your body and pace yourself.
  • Ask friends and family to come and cheer you on to provide a little extra motivation as you reach your goal.

Recovery time

Make sure you rehydrate and eat after the race. Your body will recover faster once you refuel it. If you need a little extra check out our huge range of supplements in your local LloydsPharmacy.

Good Luck to all the participants!!

No more excuses; introduce ‘fitness’ into your life!

Ross Loughran 5/11/2016Pic : Lorraine O'Sullivan

Ross, Pharmacy Technician, Rowlagh

Change your health direction. What does it mean to you? To me, as a pharmacy technician and a personal trainer, it means changing your outlook on fitness, and not just physical fitness, but also your mental wellbeing. It’s about making positive little steps and changes to ensure you improve your overall fitness. From a personal point of view, this is what I did. I underwent that change 5 years ago. Making that shift towards positive healthy habits and I’m all the better for it.

People tend to come up with all sorts of excuses not to exercise… a popular myth out there at the moment is ‘if I’m sick, I can’t work out’ and yes, in some cases this is the truth. I’d never accept a client if they hadn’t got the all clear from a doctor. BUT fitness starts at home. By this I mean, what’s on your plate. It’s about making those small changes. Any commitment too big will never last. Start small… swap your cereal for oats. Swap that chocolate bar for a banana. Do something enough, it becomes a habit. Do it long enough, it becomes part of your life. The same can be said for exercise. Start small… take that flight of stairs to the next level, walk to the shops instead of driving.

Look at the simple habit of sitting down, yes we all do it, BUT even the action of sitting down is part of a very popular gym move; a move that works all muscles of the leg by sitting down and standing up, a move that has one of the highest calorie burning stats of any resistance move… the squat. Try this, before sitting down in front of the TV, go to sit but stop RIGHT before your bum touches the cushion. Then stand. That’s one rep. No barbell, just your own body weight. Repeat it 10 to 12 times. That’s a set. Something so simple but then you’ll have earned that seat. You’ll have raised your endorphins, making you feel good and you’ll have boosted your metabolism, getting the most out of your food. It’s making these changes that help improve fitness. Not just your body but also your mind.

Make 2018 the year of the small but mighty changes!