This is a new section of our newsletter focusing on your personal health. You have taken the steps to ensure your financial health so why not take steps to ensure you have the physical health to enjoy it.
Our goal is to give you ideas on how to protect your physical health for the long haul so that you get the most out of your retirement with the energy and vitality to do the things you want.
As we age, certain aspects of our health deteriorate. The rate at which this happens can be influenced by our lifestyle. This factor is illustrated when we look at different cultures around the world and the rates of illness and mortality.
Genetics play a role but lifestyle loads the gun!
For 30% of people who experience a heart attack their first symptom is their last.
It is important to protect the cardiovascular system with regular check-ups with your GP.
Next to this we need to protect the heart muscle and the blood vessels and arteries with regular moderate aerobic exercise such as walking, swimming or anything that gently increases your heart rate.
Increasing blood circulation and demand on the cardiovascular system helps strengthens the heart muscle. Start slowly and always check with your GP if you haven’t been exercising lately.
Make an appointment with yourself to exercise for 30 minutes 4 times a week starting now.
If your cholesterol levels are above the healthy range, there are lifestyle aspects you can follow to improve this.
Exercise is known to increase our healthy cholesterol levels (HDL). HDL protects our CV system.
Omega 3 fish oil has also shown to improve healthy cholesterol in some individuals. Fish oil also helps to reduce inflammation which is a heart attack risk factor in susceptible individuals. I recommend 2 serves of fish per week and possibly a good fish oil supplement daily.
Increased soluble (oats, oat bran) and insoluble fibre (fibrous vegetables like green beans, leafy vegetables) can help to reduce unhealthy cholesterol levels (LDL).
Inflammation is a normal response in the body that is part of the healing process. But it should die down once an injury/ illness is healed. Unresolved inflammation interferes with normal body processes and one area of damage may be our artery walls which increases our risk of CV disease.
Some of the factors that increase inflammation and its damaging effects are acute respiratory infections, physical and psychological stress, oxidative stress (pollution, diet, exposure to chemicals), being an unhealthy weight, excess sugar, alcohol and caffeine consumption, ongoing digestive issues.
How can we help to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress with diet?
Garlic reduces cholesterol and blood pressure and protects against oxidative stress.
Ginger and fish oil can both help to reduce inflammation.
Turmeric has been researched extensively and found to have many anti-inflammatory benefits.
Ensure Vitamin D levels are healthy as this vitamin is important to our immune health.
Brightly coloured fruits and vegetables will provide antioxidant protection.
Ingredients for a healthy heart
Include raw crushed garlic where possible.
Beetroot and green leafy vegetables .
Increase Berry intake 50 to 100g/day of blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries.
Increase herbs and spices such as turmeric and ginger.
Drink green tea for the antioxidant, digestive health benefits.
Maintain good oral health. Gum disease can have a significant effect on your heart.
Address any sleep issues such as snoring and apnoea.