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At this time of year, it can be easy to set yourself up to fail. Daily classes at the gym or the latest fad diet might seem like a good idea at the time or even a necessity after the over-indulgence of Christmas and New Year. However, most of us know, from experience, that drastic lifestyle changes are usually unsustainable.

If you make just one resolution this year, resolve to get your heart health checked. Heart disease is known as the silent killer, many people are walking around without symptoms, unaware of what is going on inside their body. However, happily 90% of all heart disease is preventable. Perhaps you have a family history of heart disease, maybe you have recently given up smoking and you are concerned about the damage that it may have done to your heart and lungs, or perhaps you know you have over done it recently, and you want the peace of mind that diagnostics can bring.

In addition to a heart health check-up, here are a few other things that you might also want to consider:

FOOD: All things in moderation

Small, incrementable changes are often easier and more achievable. Why not swap out your usual carbohydrate for a second portion of veg. Or use a smaller dinner plate for your evening meals. This helps with portion control and can stop you eating more than is wise. Understanding your food triggers can also be beneficial. Do you eat more when you are bored, stressed or in certain social situations? Knowing your triggers can help you to reduce your overall intake.

SMOKING: Seek help

If the thought of quitting smoking seems like an impossible mountain to climb, perhaps consider E-cigarettes or vapes. They can be used to help you quit smoking. Obviously, the best thing you can do for your heart and general health, is to stop smoking altogether – cigarettes or any alternatives and there are a number of support services available including the NHS stop smoking services.

EXERCISE: Do what you love

If you hate the gym, don’t force yourself to go. Instead, why not do something that you enjoy, more regularly. If you’ve got into walking over the lockdowns, why not plan to walk with a friend 3 times a week and try to increase the intensity of your walks. If you like dancing, why not start dancing lessons or if swimming if your thing, increase the frequency of your swims.

When you meet with one of our consultant cardiologists, they will talk through your medical history, carry out any diagnostics as required and put together a management plan to get you on the right track to full heart health. This is one thing you can do today that might make all the difference.