Life is a pressure cooker and when you’re juggling motherhood, work and children, it can be easy to forget your own health.
One in six Australians are affected by cardiovascular disease, accounting for more than 3.7 million Australians[i], according to the National Heart Foundation of Australia.
As a cardiologist, I see many mothers who have dedicated their lives to their families but have no idea that they have high blood pressure or other risk factors for heart disease.
But there are ways to relieve the pressure of everyday life as a mum and still take care of your ‘ticker’.
Here’s a few tips for keeping your heart healthy so you can take care of those you love as well as yourself.
Keep the pressure down
There are many factors that increase your risk of heart disease including smoking, high cholesterol, physical inactivity, diabetes, being overweight and high blood pressure.
Diet, including high salt intake, being overweight, alcohol and being inactive can all push up our blood pressure. Unfortunately, busy mums tend to feed their family well but often overlook their own healthy lifestyle.
Try to eat a balanced diet as much as possible. A Mediterranean-style diet is great and is fairly low maintenance for busy families. Rich in vegetables, lean meats and olive oil, this type of diet is associated with better heart health.
A natural therapy capturing the attention of medical experts for its heart health benefits is Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract.
A recent study[iv], researchers found Aged Garlic Extract reduces blood pressure in adults with uncontrolled hypertension offering hope to people who don’t respond well to prescription medications or would prefer a natural therapy.
The study provides evidence for the use of Aged Garlic Extract as a tolerable and effective adjunct natural treatment for hypertension, without increasing the risk of bleeding in patients on blood thinning medication.
Daily heart health for mums
Here’s a quick easy checklist to good heart health on the road:
- 30 minutes of moderate intensity walking walking, swimming, cycling etc. Walk the kids the school or home if you can.
- Mediterranean Diet most days (moderate levels of protein, plenty of vegetables, olive oils and other unsaturated fats).
- Limit take away and treat foods to once a week for all the family. Your will all reap the benefit.
- Limit your salt intake. Salt is found in almost every food we eat, but the amount present in different foods varies a great deal. Most of the salt we eat comes from processed foods.
- Watch your alcohol intake. For healthy men and women, Australian guidelines recommend drinking no more than two standard alcoholic drinks on any day to reduce the risk of harm from alcohol-related disease over a lifetime.[v]
- Amongst other things, chronic stress is a significant contributor to high blood pressure, so it’s worth take some time to think about what causes you to feel stressed and considering how you can eliminate or reduce that stress.
- Make time for relaxation too relaxation too. Just 15 to 20 minutes a day to sit quietly and breathe deeply can really make a difference as it can help reduce stress hormones.
- Talk to your health practitioner about Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract as a natural therapy to support your cardiovascular and heart health. Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract contains more potent active ingredients, fewer side effects, and better standardisation of dosage than fresh garlic or other types of garlic supplements, such as garlic oil and garlic powder.
Always read the label. Use only as directed. If symptoms persist consult your healthcare practitioner.
[ii] Lawes CM, Vander Hoorn S, Rodgers A. Global burden of bloodpressure-related disease, 2001. Lancet 2008;371:1513–8.
[iii] Martiniuk AL, Lee CM, Lawes CM, Ueshima H, Suh I, Lam TH, Gu D, Feigin V, Jamrozik K, Ohkubo T, et al. Hypertension: its prevalence and population-attributable fraction for mortality from cardiovascular disease in the Asia-Pacific region. J Hypertens 2007;25:73–9.
[v] Australian Government Department of Health. 2013. Reduce your risk: new national guidelines for alcohol consumption. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.alcohol.gov.au/internet/alcohol/publishing.nsf/content/guide-adult. [Accessed 31 October 2016].
Dr Jason Kaplan is a specialist adult cardiologist and physician. He studied Medicine at the University of New South Wales and graduated with Honours in 1999 then completed his Internal Medicine Training at St George and Prince of Wales hospitals, and Adult his Cardiology training at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.