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Active Retirees : Active Retirees Jun-Jul
32 | www.probussouthpacific.org HEALTH McGrice specifies two dos and two don’ts when it comes to your diet and heart health. “Don’t eat foods high in saturated fat,” she says. “They increase cholesterol levels, which can lead to hardening of the arteries.” This means steering clear of pastries, cakes, biscuits, chips, cheese, butter, salami and sausages. She also rules out foods high in salt. “Salt increases your blood pressure, which is a marker for heart disease,” she explains. “Look for foods that have less than 500mg of salt per 100g on the nutritional infor mation panel.” Processed meats, breads, soups, stock, sauces and marinades are generally high in sodium. “Do eat a diet rich in plant sterols such as vegetables, fruits and wholegrains. They assist in preventing cholesterol absorption,” she says. “Do eat lots of soluble fibre. It helps dispose of cholesterol in your body.” Foods high in soluble fibre include legumes, lentils, chickpeas, wholegrains and oats. Active ageing Exercise can actually reverse the damage done to the heart from years of inactivity and a poor diet, according to Professor Steve Selig, a clinical exercise physiologist at Deakin University and a spokesperson for Exercise and Sports Science Australia. “Exercise is the most potent and beneficial lifestyle strategy that people with heart disease or a risk of developing it can adopt to protect their heart,” explains Selig. But how does exercise protect the heart? “It improves heart function so it works more efficiently, reduces cholesterol levels, improves the elasticity of arteries (the opposite of WARNING SIGNS There are many heart attack symptoms and their severity varies. The most common signs of a heart attack are: S Chest pain and discomfort. People who have had a heart attack describe the sensations as having an elephant sitting on their chest. Sharp, stabbing chest pain is less common. S Ache or heaviness in your shoulders. S A choking, burning or painful feeling in your neck. S A heaviness, numbing, tingling or discomfort in your arms. S A tightness or ache in your jaw. S A dull ache between your shoulder blades. S Feeling nauseous. S Feeling dizzy or light- headed. S Breaking out in a cold sweat. S Being short of breath or having difficulty breathing. If you experience any of these signs for a duration of 10 minutes, or if they are severe or get progressively worse, call 000 and ask for an ambulance. Sources: www.heartattackfacts.org.au www.heartfoundation.org.au hardening them) and can help fight obesity,” says Selig. Most people should exercise most days of the week for about 30-45 minutes. Selig recommends an hour each day for weight loss, and suggests walking, cycling, swimming, aqua aerobics and light weight-training for muscle strength. “It is never too late to start exercising,” he says. A little help While your heart health is essentially in your own hands, you don’t have to go it alone. There are plenty of services that can lend a helping hand. Exercise is the most potent and beneficial lifestyle strategy that people with heart disease or a risk of developing it can adopt to protect their heart.
Active Retirees Aug-Sept