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Five top tips to look after your heart: Self-Care Week 2020

This week sees the beginning of Self-Care Week, the annual awareness week which aims to increase people’s ability to look after their own health and wellbeing, taking place from Mon 16 to Sun 22 November.

Organised by the Self-Care Forum, Self-Care Week provides an opportunity for healthcare professionals and health organisations to talk to patients and the public about self-care and explain how they can effectively look after their own health.

As part of this campaign the team who supports the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Healthy Hearts initiative across the region, have looked at some of the key actions that people can take to look after their heart. Now that there are COVID19 lockdown restrictions in place, it is even more important for people to do everything they can to look after their health and wellbeing.

Dr James Gray, a GP at Bankfield Surgery in Elland, said: “Without realising it, we actually self-care every day, be it something as simple as brushing our teeth or doing some exercise.

“However, we can also use self-care to treat common ailments or long-term conditions and avoid preventable illnesses such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease (CVD) including heart attacks and strokes”

Cardiovascular disease, also known as CVD, is responsible for one in four premature deaths in the U.K. and it’s one of the biggest causes of death and disability¹. However, there are some steps that can help people lower their risk of developing CVD:

  1. Stop smoking
  2. Exercise regularly
  3. Maintain a healthy weight
  4. Reduce the use of alcohol
  5. Eat a balanced diet rich in fruit and vegetables and low in saturated fat, salt and sugar”

The West Yorkshire and Harrogate Healthy Hearts initiative in collaboration with West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership and its partners aims to help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease across the area tackling three main risk factors: high blood pressure (hypertension), high cholesterol and diabetes.

For more information about the West Yorkshire and Harrogate’s Healthy Hearts project please visit www.westyorkshireandharrogatehealthyhearts.co.uk and follow @WYHHealthyHeart on Twitter.