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Look after your heart – you need a bit more than cuddles and hope!

There are two common and potentially serious conditions that people experience – and many people do not even know they have them.  High blood pressure and stiff or blocked arteries.  These issues are NOT restricted to the elderly and can be life threatening.

First thing to look at would be this simple exercise:  place your hands on the arms of your chair, applying increasing downward pressure with your hands so that your butt-cheeks lift off the chair seat, continue to a standing position – then walk away (but not to the fridge!!).

One of the best things you can do for your heart health is simply to get moving.  Whether you can manage a 10km run or can only manage a brisk walk to the letterbox, all movement is good.  Adding weights will also help.  Don’t have weights?  Fill two empty milk bottles with water or sand – presto, now you have weights!  Try to get your heart rate elevated but still within your capabilities to bring positive benefits – you don’t need to “bust a gut” to get benefits.

Why does this help?  Exercise helps to move blood and oxygen around your body, lowers the levels of hormones that are linked to vessels constricting, stimulates release of substances that help dilate vessels, lowers stress and improves your immune system.

Also food – make the choices worthwhile and provide your body with the good (and brightly coloured) stuff.  Fibre, healthy fats, magnesium, potassium, vitamin C and the B-vitamins (which includes folate) – eat your leafy greens, eggs, bananas, nuts, berries, vegetables and fruit with skin where possible, garlic, legumes and grains/seeds.  Include celery and pomegranates in your diet – absolute powerhouses of goodness for the health of your arteries.

Starting with these simple tips will put you on the road to improving your health.  Live long and live well.

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