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World Heart Day

Pen Orla O’Callaghan Glasses 4 min read

World Heart Day

World Heart Day takes place on the 29th of September 2017. World Heart Day encourages us all to reduce our cardiovascular risk, and promotes a heart-healthy planet for those around us. Here are some tips to help you achieve a healthy heart!

What is the importance of a healthy heart?

Your heart is the centre of your cardiovascular system. It is responsible for virtually everything that gives your body life, from the transportation of oxygen to the success of your immune system. Heart health is important at every age so don’t be fooled into thinking that heart disease will not affect you. It is important to know your risk factors including if you are a diabetic, over 50, or if you have a family history of heart disease.

How to achieve a healthy heart:

There are 5 main strategies for achieving a healthy heart.

1. Healthy Eating:

A healthy diet can significantly reduce your risk of developing coronary heart disease and high blood pressure. A well balanced diet should include plenty of fruit and vegetables, some milk and dairy products, some meat, fish, eggs, beans and only some foods that are high in fat or salt. By having a varied diet you are significantly reducing your risk of developing heart problems.

2. Physical Activity:

Physical inactivity is a modifiable risk factor for the development of heart disease. By taking part in 30 minutes of physical activity every day you can improve heart health and reduce risks. In addition to protecting your heart, physical activity strengthens your lungs and helps them to work more efficiently, tones and strengthens your muscles, keeps joints in good working condition, promotes good mental health and may prevent the development of cancer. The benefits are endless!

*Consult with your GP before commencing exercise programme if you have an injury or underlying medical issue.

3. Going Smoke Free:

Smoking increases your risk of coronary artery disease particularly if you suffer from high cholesterol, high blood pressure or if you are overweight or obese. Smokers are 6 times more likely to suffer from a coronary event, such as a heart attack, than non-smokers.

Smoking damages the lining of blood vessels and can cause blood clots. Quitting smoking and avoiding second hand smoke can help reverse heart and blood vessel damage and reduce heart disease risk right away.

4. Stress Management:

Stress is needed in small amounts to keep us motivated and enthusiastic. However, too much stress can have a negative impact on your health and particularly your heart. When you are stressed your heart beats faster, muscles tighten, blood pressure rises and senses become sharper. This can put extra pressure on your heart and cause problems. Learning how to deal with stress and effective stress management can reduce the risks associated with stress.

5. Regular Heart Health Screening:

It is advised that adults should get regular heart health screens, including blood pressure checks. Speak with your doctor to determine the best heart health screen for you.

Did you know that if you are as a member of Laya Healthcare you are entitled to a HeartBeat Cardiac Screening once every two years.

To schedule an appointment or to learn more you can call us on

1890 700 890.

Information gathered from the Irish Heart Foundation

Orla O’Callaghan

Orla O’ Callaghan is the Occupational Health Advisor on the laya healthcare health and wellness team. She qualified as a Registered General Nurse from the National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG) in 2009 and worked in London for three years. She graduated with MSc in Occupational Health from NUIG in 2012 and completed a traineeship with the European Agency for Safety and Health at work following this. She has a keen interest in workplace health promotion and in particular mental health awareness. She is currently studying counselling and psychotherapy in CIT. Although she lives in Cork her heart belongs to Co. Clare!