February is National Heart Month!
To mark National Heart Month we wanted to share our expertise on heart health. Including first aid for heart attacks, heart conditions, and how to keep your heart healthy!
- Your heart will beat about 100,000 times each day.
- Your heart is the strongest muscle in your body.
- A woman’s heart beats slightly faster than a man’s heart.
- The average heart is the size of an adult fist.
- Your heart pumps about 2,000 gallons of blood every day.
- If you were to stretch out your blood vessel system, it would be over 60,000 miles.
- Laughing is good for your heart. It reduces stress and boosts your immune system.
- The heart can continue beating even when it’s disconnected from the body.
Try the NHS online test that tells you your heart age here
There are around 7.6 million people in the UK living with circulatory and heart diseases. Cardiovascular disease continues to be the leading cause of death and disability in the world today, causing over 17.9 million deaths every year.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a general term for conditions affecting the heart or blood vessels, often associated with a build-up of fatty deposits inside the arteries and an increased risk of blood clots.
Your heart started beating about three weeks after you were conceived. If you live to be 70, it will have beaten two and a half billion times. However, although impressive and strong, your heart can also become vulnerable from risk factors like smoking, eating an unhealthy diet or putting it under stress.
1 in 2 of us will experience a heart-related condition during our lifetime.
Focusing on your heart health has never been more important.
The good news is there are lots of little things you can do to improve your heart health…
Top 10 Healthy Heart Tips
- Stop Smoking – if you are a smoker, the single best thing you can do to help prevent heart disease is to stop. A year after giving up, your risk of a heart attack falls to about half that of a smoker.
- Get Your 5 a Day – by eating at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day are a good source of vitamins, minerals and fibre.
- Get Active – being active can reduce your risk of developing heart disease. It is also known to be a great stress reliever and mood booster.
- Manage Your Weight – sticking to a healthy balanced diet, with lots of fruit and veg combined with physical activity can help to reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Drink Less Alcohol – try to keep to the recommended daily alcohol limits to reduce the risk of serious problems with your health, including risks to your heart. Don’t forget alcohol contains calories.
- Eat More Fibre – getting plenty of fibre in your diet (recommended 30g a day) helps to lower your risk of heart disease. You can get fibre in wholemeal bread, oats and wholegrain cereals and plenty of fruit and veg.
- Cut Down on Saturated Fat – choose leaner cuts of meat and lower fat dairy products to keep your cholesterol level in your blood low. Foods that are high in saturated fats can increase the risk of heart disease.
- Eat Fish – fish that are a source of omega-3 fats can help to protect against heart disease. Salmon, sardines, pilchards and a portion of oily fish are recommended to eat at least twice a week.
- Limit Salt – watch out for high-salt levels in ready-made foods, adults should eat less than 6g of salt in a day (about 1 teaspoon). Try to add less to your cooking and avoid using salt at the table. This will help to maintain a healthy blood pressure.
- Manage Stress – look out for signs you are suffering with stress, try to identify the causes and review your lifestyle. Many of the points above will help manage stress, plus getting enough sleep, time to relax and unwind. These will all help to keep your heart healthy. Click here to see our video series on stress!
If you need help or are worried about your heart health, always contact your GP for professional advice.
First Aid for Heart Attacks
You may still find yourself in a situation where you need to administer first aid for someone who is suffering from a heart attack, every minute is crucial in this situation – would you know what to do? If you answered no, we can help!
We have put together a guide to CPR with a handy demo video from one of our expert first aid trainers here at SkillBase First Aid. Click here to learn how to do CPR!
Using a Defibrillator
Defibs (sometimes called Automated External Defibrillators or AEDs) are increasingly becoming available in workplaces and the community (public access defibrillation). With so many more AED’s available, it’s a great idea for everyone to know how to use a defibrillator.
We have put together a quick demo video so should the worst happen, you will know what to do. Click here to learn how to use a Defib!
First Aid for Panic Attacks
Up to 1 in 3 people in the UK will have a panic attack at some point in their life. Panic attacks can feel a lot like heart attacks. They share lots of the same symptoms such as; a racing heart, chest pain, shortness of breath, feeling sick, light-headed or weak.
Panic attacks can feel frightening and are a very real physical response so should be treated seriously. Take a look at our guide to panic attacks here.
If you are ever unsure if it is a heart attack or a panic attack you should always seek medical attention.
First Aid Training with SkillBase First Aid
As a first aider it is not necessary to have an in-depth knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of the circulatory system. What is important is that you can recognise the signs and symptoms of common heart and circulation problems, so that you can take appropriate action.
Of course, the best way to feel confident in helping someone when they really need you is to attend one of our engaging and fun first aid training courses! You can see a range of our courses on our website, click here to find out more!
We’re on a mission to fill the UK with heroes on standby. Workplace First Aid and Mental Health Training in a way that gives you confidence, not just competence.
Become a hero today!