Heart health

Lifestyle changes required for heart health

Looking after yourself while enjoying a happy and healthy lifestyle can make a difference to your health, now and later on in life. Even if you have been diagnosed with a heart condition, making some lifestyle choices with the guidance of your specialist can be to your advantage. Prevention is always better than cure. Here are some simple steps to reduce the modifiable risk factors for heart disease, heart attack and stroke.

Stop smoking

A strong suggestion is that you stop all forms of smoking including vaping and casual use of marijuana.

A healthy diet

Regular meals with healthy choices have proven to reduce risk factors: such as cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes and weight issues. Choose a diet that emphasizes an intake of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains; includes low-fat dairy products, poultry, fish, legumes, non-tropical vegetable oils, and nuts; and limits intake of sweets, sugar-sweetened beverages, and red meats.

Decrease your alcohol consumption

The recommended alcohol intake is:


3 standard drinks a day and no more than 15 drinks a week.


2 standard drinks a day and no more than 10 standard drinks a week.

We suggest that you attempt to have at least 4 alcohol-free days per week.

Daily exercise

It is recommended that you schedule at least 30 minutes of physical activity into your day.

Research has shown that at least 30 minutes a day of moderate-intensity physical activity can help lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol and keep your weight at a healthy level.

Aim for a healthy weight

Research shows that obesity is highly prevalent for adults and children in today’s society and that fad diets and supplements are not the answer. Good nutrition, controlling calorie intake and physical activity are the recommended way to maintain a healthy weight.

Obesity places you at risk for high cholesterol, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes — the very factors that heighten your risk of cardiovascular disease.

Your Body Mass Index (BMI) can help tell you if your weight is healthy.

Manage diabetes

A high percentage of people >65 years of age with diabetes die of some form of Heart disease or stroke.

Modifiable risk factors, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, obesity, and lack of physical activity can greatly increase a person with known diabetes’ chance of developing cardiovascular disease.

Reduce stress

Studies have noted a relationship between coronary heart disease and stress in a person’s life that may increase the risk factors for heart disease and stroke. People under stress tend to overeat, start smoking or drink more than the recommended intake.

Stress is present in everyone’s daily lives yet it is recommended to be aware of the triggers that are current and seek appropriate methods of alleviating the levels of stress experienced.

If you have any issues or require further guidance, please contact our experienced cardiac nurses at Ascot Cardiology Group who are happy to advise.

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Ascot Hospital, Level 3
90 Greenlane East
Remuera, Auckland 1051
PO Box 17264,
Greenlane, Auckland 1546

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