We’ve teamed up with health organisations across West Yorkshire and Harrogate to raise awareness of cardiovascular disease and launch a new healthy hearts programme.

In Calderdale an estimated 9.3% of the population have cardiovascular disease (an overarching term that describes all the diseases of the heart and circulation including heart disease, stroke and peripheral vascular disease.)

The Healthy Hearts initiative aims to:

  • Reduce the impact of heart disease and diabetes.
  • Prevent the number of heart-related illness, including heart attacks.
  • Reduce the number of people experiencing heart disease by 10% across our area by 2021.

The best way you can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease is to adopt a heart-healthy, active lifestyle. We’ve assembled some tips on what you can do to reduce your risk, and some information on the resources available to help you get active in Calderdale!

What can you do?

Give up smoking

If you're a smoker, quit. It's the single best thing you can do for your heart health.

Smoking is one of the main causes of coronary heart disease. A year after giving up, your risk of a heart attack falls to about half that of a smoker.

You're more likely to stop smoking for good if you use NHS stop smoking services. Visit the Smokefree website or ask your GP for help with quitting.

NHS Yorkshire Smokefree Calderdale offer an online service through which you can create your own personal plan and set goals to help you quit, receive motivational messages and connect with other quitters in their online community.

You can also attend local clinics in Sowerby Bridge, Elland, Brighouse, Illingworth and Halifax, offering one-to-one and group appointments to help you stop smoking for good.

Find out more at calderdale.yorkshiresmokefree.nhs.uk, or call 0800 612 0011 (free from landlines)/  0330 660 1166 (free from most mobiles).

Get active

Getting – and staying – active can reduce your risk of developing heart disease. It can also be a great mood booster and stress buster.

Do 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week. One way to achieve this target is by doing 30 minutes of activity on 5 days a week. Fit it in where you can, such as by cycling to work.

A healthy lifestyle will make your heart healthier, and here in Calderdale there are a number of activities available to help you do just that: Click on the links below for more information:

Manage your weight

Being overweight can increase your risk of heart disease. Stick to a healthy, balanced diet low in fat and sugar, with plenty of fruit and vegetables, combined with regular physical activity.

The Calderdale Better Living Service provides free support to help you improve your lifestyle through stopping smoking, drinking less alcohol, weight management, physical activity and exercise.

Find out if you're a healthy weight with the BMI calculator. If you're overweight, try our 12-week NHS weight loss plan.

For ideas on starting to move more and get fit, visit www.nhs.uk/oneyou/for-your-body/move-more/

Consider your diet

Fibre

Eat plenty of fibre to help lower your risk of heart disease – aim for at least 30g a day.

Eat fibre from a variety of sources, such as wholemeal bread, bran, oats and wholegrain cereals, potatoes with their skins on, and plenty of fruit and veg.

 

Cut down on saturated fat

saturated fatEating too many foods that are high in saturated fat can raise the level of cholesterol in your blood. This increases your risk of heart disease.

Choose leaner cuts of meat and lower fat dairy products like 1% fat milk over full-fat (or whole) milk.

Read the facts about fat.

 

Get your 5 A Day

Eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables a day. They're a good source of fibre, vitamins and minerals.

There are lots of tasty ways to get your 5 A Day, like adding chopped fruit to cereal or including vegetables in your pasta sauces and curries.

Get more 5 A Day fruit and veg tips.

 

Cut down on salt

To maintain healthy blood pressure, avoid using salt at the table and try adding less to your cooking.Picture of salt

Once you get used to the taste of food without added salt, you can cut it out completely.

Watch out for high salt levels in ready-made foods. Most of the salt we eat is already in the foods we buy.

Check the food labels – a food is high in salt if it has more than 1.5g salt (or 0.6g sodium) per 100g.

Adults should eat less than 6g of salt a day in total – that's about 1 teaspoon.

 

Eat fish at least twice a week

Eat fish at least twice a week, including a portion of oily fish. Fish such as pilchards, sardines and salmon are a source of omega-3 fats, which may help protect against heart disease.

Pregnant or breastfeeding women should not have more than 2 portions of oily fish a week.

 

Drink less alcohol

Do not forget that alcohol contains calories. Regularly drinking more than the NHS recommends can have a noticeable impact on your waistline.

Try to keep to the recommended daily alcohol limits to reduce the risk of serious problems with your health, including risks to your heart health.

 

Read food labelling

When shopping, it's a good idea to look at the label on food and drink packaging to see how many calories and how much fat, salt and sugar the product contains.

Understanding what's in food and how it fits in with the rest of your diet will help you make healthier choices.

Have your NHS Health Check

The NHS Health Check is a health check-up for adults in England aged 40-74. It's designed to spot early signs of stroke, kidney disease, heart disease, type 2 diabetes or dementia.

Your NHS Health Check will assess your risk of developing these health problems and give you personalised advice on how to reduce it.

If you're between the ages of 40-74 you should receive a letter from Calderdale Council encouraging you to make an appointment with your GP for your health check.

For further information on the health check, how to get one and what it involves visit www.calderdale.gov.uk/socialcare/health/health-check

Useful resources

The 'How Are You?' Quiz - complete this free quiz and get an idea of how healthy and active you are, and to get ideas on how to improve things

'One You' Heart Age test - This quick test can tell you your heart age compared to your real age, explains why it's important to know your blood pressure and cholesterol numbers and gives advice on how to reduce your heart age

Change4Life - Make a change today with Change4Life! Discover sugar swaps, healthy recipes, nutritional advice, and top tips and activities to help your kids stay healthy.

Eight tips for healthy eating - These eight practical tips cover the basics of healthy eating, and can help you make healthier choices.

Useful links