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Love your heart this Valentine's Day

Posted on Friday 13 February 2015

Many people will be concerned with matters of the heart on Valentine’s Day. It’s therefore a great opportunity to think about what we can all do to keep our hearts healthy and minimise the risk of heart disease.

Dr Gerry Carr-White, Cardiology Consultant at Guy’s and St Thomas’, says: “Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death in the UK. We could all do more to keep our hearts healthy and minimise our risk of developing heart disease.”

Watch our short video to see Dr Carr-White's top tips for a healthy heart:

These top tips are:

• Eat healthily – Make sure you’re eating plenty of fruit and vegetables and not consuming too many fatty and sugary foods. A balanced diet reduces the risk of coronary heart disease.

• Avoid drinking too much alcohol - Alcohol can cause abnormal heart rhythms and damages heart muscle.

• Stop smoking - Smokers are twice as likely to have a heart attack compared with people who have never smoked. It’s never too late to quit – Guy’s and St Thomas’ runs a stop smoking service.

• Stay active – Regular exercise can help you manage your weight and keep your heart in good shape.

Guy’s and St Thomas’ cardiovascular centre sees more than 4,000 new patients each year and provides a wide range of services, such as cardiac and vascular surgery, specialised vascular ultrasound screening, and care for patients in the community.

The centre’s staff are highly skilled and experienced and include researchers working to find new treatments. Because every heart is unique, the Trust is using the latest imaging and computer modelling techniques to ensure the care we offer is precisely tailored to each individual patient.

Find out more about cardiovascular services at Guy’s and St Thomas’

Look after your heart – video transcript

Hello everyone my name is Dr Gerry Carr-White, I’m a cardiology consultant of Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital and we thought that Valentine's Day was a great opportunity to remind everyone of how they can keep their heart healthy.

We think there's just a few simple measures you can follow try and keep your heart healthy both now and for a long time in the future.

The first thing is to try to eat a healthy diet, lots of fruits and vegetables, not too much away of sugary or fatty foods.

Second thing is to be careful about how much alcohol you drink, try and limit that to the national guidelines. Too much alcohol can make the heart electrics change and make your heart weak.

And third thing is to not smoke and even one cigarette a day makes your blood sticky and makes you more prone to heart attacks and strokes. So try to avoid all cigarettes.

And the final thing is physical exercise, it doesn't have to be too strenuous but you can try and do that perhaps three times or more a week at a moderate level, again that has major, major benefits for your heart.

So just following those simple steps will help you keep your heart healthy and it's important to remember that the heart’s not just for Valentine's Day, it's for every single day of the year.

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