Regardless of your age, gender or background, it is so important for everyone to maintain a fit, healthy and happy lifestyle. The heart is perhaps the most vital organ in the human body, as it pumps blood through the blood vessels in our circulatory system, dispersing fresh oxygen and nutrients around our bodies and helping to remove metabolic wastes. World Heart Day is on Sunday 29th September, so we have put together some top tips to participate, educate and raise awareness for the importance of keeping your heart (and you) healthy.

1.       Be Smoke-Free

It probably comes as no surprise, one of the best things you can do for better heart health is to give up smoking. Smoking contributes to atSocial Carersclerosis, a narrowing and clogging of the arteries which reduces blood supply and the amount of oxygen available throughout your body. Smokers have an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes, and at a much younger age.

2.       Relieve Stress

Calm down after a stressful day with activities and hobbies that can help reduce stress, such as painting, yoga or completing jigsaw puzzles - bonus points for having a relaxing candlelit atmosphere.

3.       Manage Your Blood Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a fatty substance carried in your blood, and an imbalance of this cholesterol can lead to heart attack or stroke.

4.       Eat More Fish

Fish such as salmon, tuna and sardines are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help ward off heart disease. Like we need another reason to eat sushi!

5.       Maintain a Healthy Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is an important part of how your heart and circulation works, but it can be difficult to tell if you have a high or low blood pressure. Best to get tested by your doctor if you feel this might be an issue.

6.       Laugh More

According to the American Heart Association, research suggests that laughing can actually decrease inflammation in your arteries, and lower stress hormones. So hit the cinema for a comedy film, attend a stand-up comedy night or just joke around with your friends, it’s good for you!

7.       Manage Your Diabetes

Uncontrolled diabetes can damage your artery walls and contribute to heart disease, so it’s a good idea to get tested if you suspect this may be an issue.

8.       Eat Less Salt

Reducing your intake of salt is good for your blood pressure, so try using herbs and spices to boost the flavour of your food instead.

9.       Keep Active

Regular, moderate exercise is great for your heart health. Some ideas to increase your physical activity is to walk briskly for 30 minutes a day, take the stairs, or join a team sport.

10.   Eat Nutritious Foods to Help Achieve and Maintain a Healthy Weight

Replace unhealthy fats found in butter and takeaway foods for example, with healthy fats such as avocado, almonds and olive oil. Limit your alcohol consumption.

11.   Prioritise Companionship and Your Mental Health

People who have depression or are feeling socially isolated are at a greater risk of heart disease. Keep up an active social life with supportive friends and family, be sure to prioritise your happiness and positivity.

Do you or someone you love live in NSW, and need to work on the above tips? If you are looking for companionship to improve your mental health, an exercise buddy to improve your fitness, or someone to help prepare meals or assist with getting you out and about in the community, Like Family has the solution. Like Family is on a activity to end social isolation and loneliness due to ageing, disability or illness. We have fully vetted Social Carers with a wide range of skills across the Sydney region, Newcastle and Central Coast NSW. We are NDIS-approved providers who believe improving your health and wellbeing should be affordable, and offer a $40 per hour flat rate including weekends and public holidays. Sign up now to be matched with a Social Carer in your local area who aligns with your interests and needs.