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    Follow these simple steps to help strengthen your heart.
    Hands creating a heart

    We all know that a healthy lifestyle will make your heart healthier – and help to lower your risk of developing heart disease.

    And as we spend an average of over 40 hours per week at work, looking after your heart at work is a great place to start. Here are some steps that you can take to strengthen your heart without even leaving the office.  

    Regular activity, more than exercise

    So, what's the difference between exercise and activity? Exercise describes a concentrated effort to raise your heart rate, strengthen your muscles, and increase your flexibility. Activity, on the other hand, describes how much you move throughout the day. Ideally, you should combine exercise and regular movement for optimum heart health.

    At work, consider having stand-up meetings if the weather allows, you can stand outside and enjoy some fresh air during the meeting. 

    Healthy snacking

    A healthy diet is one of the best ways to keep your heart in good shape, and a variety of nutrient-rich foods are needed. 

    When it comes to snacking, go for fruits, almonds, and other hearty, healthy options. Keep all office potlucks heart-healthy and, last but not least, always keep healthy portions in mind.

    Keep calm and carry on 

    While most roles have a certain level of stress, a consistently high-level can contribute to heart disease and other health problems. Stress may affect behaviours that increase the risk of heart diseases such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, physical inactivity, and overeating. 

    While there are a host of techniques to help you manage stress at work, from breathing to daily journaling, we need time to replenish and return to our pre-stress level of functioning. This recovery process requires "switching off" from work by having periods when you are neither engaging in work-related activities nor thinking about work. When you're not able to take time off, get a quick boost by turning off your smartphone and focusing your attention on non-work activities for a while.

    Hero image: iStock

     

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