How can I take care of my physical heart as well as my "emotional" heart?

The Heart Foundation has a Lock in the Love Installation in the Murray St Mall , Perth until 16th February. For a donation of $10 you can purchase a padlock, write a message of love and lock it onto the LOVE installation and support the Heart Foundation ( volunteers are available from 9-5pm weekdays, Friday 9-9pm and Saturday 11-4pm).

During February, Australians are encouraged to improve their Heart Health and help raise funds for research into heart disease. As an example of the importance of heart disease, every 10 minutes in Australia someone has a heart attack, 17% of these will be fatal.

Heart Research Australia also has the REDFEB Campaign, promoting simple ways to improve lifestyle and raise funds for their research, which includes using stem cells to replace damaged heart muscle, identifying triggers for heart attack  and cell function in heart attack. (

Cardiovascular disease ( CVD) is a term used for diseases of the heart and blood vessels, including heart attack and stroke.

Some simple ways to immediately reduce your risk of CVD include:

  • Have regular check ups of BP, blood lipid and sugar levels, weight, stress management review and family history
  • Stop smoking, a year after you cease smoking, your risk of a heart attack is half the risk of a smoker
  • Eat healthier foods   :

§  manage your weight, stick to a well balanced diet and activity programme. Download the  meal and activity planner for a practical guide.

§  Read food labels ( the label identifies the contents and allows you to make better choices)

§  reduce the salt content of your food ( high salt food has more than 1.5g salt or 0.6g sodium per 100g). Use herbs to flavour foods instead.

§  eat oily fish regularly ( fresh tuna and salmon)

§  reduce saturated fats, small changes have positive health benefits, for example chose semi -skimmed milk over full fat products, grill food instead of frying, chose leaner meat cuts.

§  use scientific evidence to guide your way in healthy eating, rather than rely on friends, family and celebrities. Diets are complex and various foods have been linked to either increasing or decreasing risk of CVD. Since the 1990's, the Mediterranean Diet has been the most promoted, particularly by the Mayo Clinic in the US as the diet that is best regarding CVD health.  It is plant based, promoting vegetables and fruits, whole grains, legumes, replaces butter with healthy fats such as olive oil and limits red meat to substitute fish and poultry.


  • Exercise. Do 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise every week. Fit it in where you can, such as walking, use public transport  or cycling to work. Walking clears your mind and helps to reduce tension and put your ideas in order.
  • Limit alcohol. Alcohol has several adverse health effects, and can add significant kilojoules to the daily intake. ( if you have 3-4 gin and tonics per day for 4 weeks, it could add a 2kg weight gain)
  • Keep cleaner, quieter environments. Smoking and passive smoking have been well demonstrated as being harmful to health. Sleep is essential for biological functioning and poor sleep can affect blood pressure and small vessel disease. Poor housing, stress, bullying, violence and environmental factors such as noise, traffic, plastics and certain chemicals have all been linked to increased risk of CVD.
<- Back to: News