18.AUG.2016 3 MIN READ | 3 MIN READ

Simple changes to your habits can do wonders for your heart.

Leading a healthy lifestyle isn’t easy. Healthy food doesn’t always appeal, and regular exercise sometimes feels like so much of a hassle that being a couch potato is a much better alternative. While it’s the easier option, the price of high blood pressure makes exercise a hard lifestyle choice to ignore.

The risk of high blood pressure is heightened by factors like genetics, bad lifestyle habits (smoking, drinking) or simply just age. Even though the number of Singaporeans suffering from high blood pressure has dropped since 2004, a 2010 study showed that 23.5% of us still have high blood pressure.

It is vital that blood pressure is kept in check as high blood pressure causes heart failure if left untreated. Besides going for regular check-ups and tests, there are also easy do-it-yourself measures to keep hearts strong and healthy.

Ways to keep your heart strong

1. Adequate exercise

Just 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercises a week could improve your long-term heart health. Split it up into 30-minute sessions over the entire week, so that it’s more manageable and doesn’t take up too much time.

2. Quit it!

Smoke on a regular basis? Maybe you should consider quitting this habit as it’s been linked to coronary heart disease, which often leads to heart failure. Start small, and in no time you’ll find yourself to be smoke-free.

3. Balance is key

A well-balanced diet goes a long way to helping you to attain a strong heart. Include oily fish like mackerel and salmon in your diet, as both of those are rich in omega-3 fats that could protect you from heart failure. Fruit and vegetables are important too, so remember to eat five portions of those a day.

4. Trim the fat

Take extra care to reduce the amount of saturated fat you consume, as cutting down has been proven to reduce the risk of high blood pressure and heart failure. Whether it’s choosing skimmed milk over full fat milk or changing cooking methods from frying to healthier methods like grilling, every little effort counts.

5. Chill out!

Remember to take a break once in a while as too much stress releases hormones that cause high blood pressure. A walk in the park or a day at the beach could help you relax and keep your heart healthy.

Find out some of the medical procedures available should you need to undergo heart treatment. With the correct insurance coverage, your bill size can be better gauged and managed, while Mount Elizabeth Hospitals can assist with all Medisave, MediShield Life and Integrated Shield Plan claims.

For your peace of mind, talk to one of our heart specialists today or read about how to make healthcare insurance claims to cover your hospital bills.

18.AUG.2016