It’s normally a day of cards, flowers and chocolates – but for one doctor it’s also a chance to look after loved ones’ health in matters of the heart.
That advice includes making small, though vital changes to diet and exercise routines.
Dr Bill Tamkin, chair of South Manchester Clinical Commissioning Group, says: “There is evidence that a Mediterranean-style of diet is very beneficial for heart health. This is typically of a diet that includes whole grains, nuts, fresh fruit and vegetables and fish.
“It also means eating less meat and replacing dairy products with those based on plant oils – like olive oil for example.
“Improving diet can have additional advantages in helping to stave off other vascular conditions – where there are problems with blocked arteries and flow of blood from the heart to the brain.”
He’s also keen to reiterate the benefits of regular exercise:
“The key to exercise is to find something that you love doing – so that it doesn’t become a chore – and it can be part of your lifestyle. Even just going for a brisk walk each day has major benefits as long as it raises your heartbeat.
“Exercise also lifts mood and alleviates stress – which is also important for heart health.”
According to NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) there were more than 79,000 hospital admissions for heart attacks (myocardial infarction) in England and Wales in 2011/12.
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