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Protect Your Heart

Carefully look after your heart

The heart is the core of the body's circulatory system. It supports your life by continuously pumping blood to every organ in your body. If your heart is unable to function properly, your organs will not receive the oxygen and nutrients they need and their function will be greatly affected even resulting in death. For example: severe heart disease may lead to heart and lung failure, causing shortness of breath and a drastic decrease in the patient's ability to move around. Most shockingly, a person may die on the first heart attack.

Heart disease

There have been many new developments in the treatment of heart disease in recent years. Nevertheless, heart disease is still one of the main killer diseases in Hong Kong. Most of these deaths are caused by coronary heart disease. Noticeably, coronary heart disease is increasingly striking younger people. So protecting your heart earlier can spare you the worry of heart disease later on in life.

Preventive measure #1: Aerobic exercise

Aerobic exercise is the kind of exercise that is of moderate intensity and can be carried out over a long period of time. Examples include jogging, bicycling, and swimming. In the long-term this kind of exercise strengthens your heart and lungs. However, you should undertake this kind of exercise progressively according to your body's capabilities.
Adults should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity throughout the week.

Preventive measure #2: A balanced diet

A healthy diet means a balanced diet. One should not eat too much. Overeating leads to intake of excess calories, which will make you fat and increase the burden on your heart. Eating too much food high in fat and cholesterol also leads to elevated cholesterol levels in your blood, which causes fatty deposits to accumulate in your blood vessels and may occlude them. If the coronary arteries become blocked, your heart muscles will suffer from a lack of oxygen and will be unable to function properly, and may even die. In order to ensure a balanced diet, you should follow the 'Food pyramid' guidelines.


Preventive measure #3: Stress reduction

The stress we encounter daily and the changes in life will cause our blood pressure to rise and our heart to beat rapidly. All these reactions can speed up the process of hardening of the blood vessels and increase burden on the heart.


Preventive measure #4: Avoid smoking and alcohol abuse

The nicotine in tobacco products can cause an increase in blood pressure and heartbeat, thus increases the burden on the heart. Nicotine also causes blood to clot more easily which may lead to occlusion of the blood vessels.
Excessive drinking over an extended period of time destroys cells in the heart muscles, affecting the function of the heart causing the heart to weaken gradually, and can cause death from heart failure.