Lifestyle & wellbeing to help with heart concerns
Exercise for your heart
150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week lowers the risk of heart disease for women. Swim, walk, run or go to the gym. Watch our series of Fighting Fit vlogs Fighting Fit with Sally is an easy exercise regime that you can do for free at home. Other options are table tennis, skipping, hula hooping, or you could even try boxing!
Manage your weight
As hormones fluctuate, metabolism slows, causing weight gain, which puts more stress on the heart, increasing palpitations and the risk of heart disease.
The wonders of water
Drink plenty of cold water, or herbal teas, such as chamomile. Splashing your face with cold water in the throes of a pounding heart, will help slow it down.
Sleeping is good for your heart
The less sleep we have the more prone to anxiety we become. So prioritise sleep so you are better equipped to deal with a racing heartbeat.
Stop, rest and breathe deeply
If your heart starts to race, stop what you’re doing and sit down. Breathe in deeply, through your nose and breath out through your mouth. Repeat this for 5 minutes and your normal heart rate should resume.
Long term relaxation benefits
Try some deep breathing exercises to help control your heart rate. Practice this simple breathing exercise or check out Yoga with Annie - Relaxation & Breathing Exercise
- Lie down on your back in a quiet space and relax your body.
- Close your eyes, or (even better) put a folded flannel over them & rest your hands on your tummy.
- Slowly inhale through your nose and fill your lower chest first, feel the breath slowly bubbling up to the top part of your chest and lungs next. Focus on your abdomen expanding with each breath.
- Hold your breath for a count of 5, gently relax, breath out through your mouth.
- Relax, take a couple of normal breaths for 5 to 10 seconds, repeat.
Learn how to take your pulse
Your resting heart rate is between 60-100 beats per minute. Knowing your pulse rate will help you to recognise when your heartbeat is fast.
NHS Choices say you can check your pulse by counting how many times your heart beats in a minute.
To find your resting heart rate: sit quietly for five minutes; lightly press your index and middle finger on the inside of your opposite wrist just below your thumb; count the number of beats for a minute, or 30 seconds and multiply by 2. You can also check if your pulse is regular or irregular by feeling its rhythm for about 20-30 seconds.
Check out our blog Home Heart Health on further advice to maintain a healthy heart.