Believe it or not, cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of death in South Africa and it’s linked directly to our lifestyles … we eat too many of the wrong foods, smoke, live stressful lives and don’t engage in enough physical activity. Sounds familiar?
UCook CEO Peter Allerstorfer has put out a challenge to all South Africans to reduce their risk of heart disease. ‘The implications of a bad diet and stressful lifestyle are immense, affecting our overall health and quality of life.
‘Simple changes in our everyday lives can make a substantial difference to our health and livelihood.’
Reducing your risk of heart disease is easier than you think.
He shares five lifestyle changes that you can start with this World Heart Day:
- Get active. Encouraging your family to get active is the most valuable thing you can do and should be a way of life, it will help you maintain a healthy weight and lower your risk of cardiovascular disease. Any activity that gets you slightly out of breath and the heart pumping faster counts. Even a brisk walk with your dog, short cycle, gym class, swimming, dancing, gardening or playing an active game with your kids.
- Drink less. Limiting your alcohol intake to no more than 1 drink per day can reduce your risk immensely. One drink is a small glass of wine (120ml), a can of beer (340ml) or a tot of any spirit (25ml).
- Don’t smoke. Quitting smoking is the best thing you could do for your heart and health. Smoking is the second leading cause of cardiovascular disease. Luckily, it’s never too late to stop. The immediate benefits to your body are noticeable and your risk of heart disease and stroke can fall to levels close to that of a non-smoker.
- Avoid stress. Stress often leads to unhealthy behaviours – you console yourself with indulgent food choices, spending a little more time on the couch than usual and drinking more. Help to manage stress better by prepping meals weekly so that you don’t make unhealthy fast food choices, as well as setting yourself a reminder to go for a walk or take a breather to break the tension cycle.
- Eat well. Following a healthy eating regime and choosing ingredients that nourish your body and fight inflammation are highly beneficial to a healthy heart. In October, look out for UCook’s Health Nut dishes in partnership with JEFF, one of South Africa’s largest wellness communities, helping people to achieve their weight loss, health and fitness goals from the safety and comfort of home.