Three quarters of Australians are at risk of developing cardiovascular disease, or CVD and while we know that a healthier lifestyle will reduce our risk, putting that into practice amongst our busy lifestyles is often easier said than done.

We’ve compiled a few easy tips to help keep your heart happy.

Easy diet switches to eat healthier

Eating healthy for your heart isn’t about one particular food or meal but what you eat over the course of days, weeks and months. Choosing fruit and veggies for snacks, swapping to wholegrain bread and using herbs and spices instead of salt to flavour meals are just three ways you can start making small changes today.

Move your body regularly

Regular exercise reduces our risk of developing CVD and having a heart attack but if you’re struggling to find the motivation to lace up the sneakers or find extra time in your day setting realistic goals will help. Remember any exercise is better than none and choosing activities you enjoy or recruiting a friend for a walk instead of a coffee will help make it more enjoyable.

Stay smoke free

If you’re a smoker, your risk of a heart attack or stroke can be up to four times higher than a non-smoker but the good news is quitting is possible and support is available! Benefits are available with selected Phoenix Health Extras covers for approved quit smoking programs.

Likewise, the more you can avoid second-hand smoke the better off your health will be.

Make an appointment with your doctor

Elevated cholesterol and blood pressure can increase your risk of developing CVD and your doctor can help you understand how they correlate to your heart health and work with you to make any necessary improvements. Plus if you’re 45 or older you may be eligible for a Medicare-covered Heart Health Check.

Don’t forget the dentist

There is more evidence emerging that oral health is connected to our heart health so scheduling regular appointments for check-ups with your dentist will not only improve the health of your teeth and gums but could help keep your heart health in check. Most Phoenix Health Extras covers include benefits for gap-free check-ups, scale and cleans so there’s no reason to put off an appointment any longer!

Benefits, limits and waiting periods may apply. See individual product information sheets for more information.
Sources: Heart Foundation and Colgate