Every year on 29th September World Heart Day raises awareness about the risks of cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke. The aim is to help people like you make a promise to help themselves, their family and surrounding community look after their hearts.
Heart Research UK have published tips on how to be SMART about making health pledges you aim to keep:
Specific – Could you and your partner help each other by cutting down on alcohol? Set a specific target to keep you motivated and focused; use an app to count your units, put a cap on 14 units each week and promise to keep 2-3 days alcohol free.
Measureable – Is it time to keep a check on your waistline? Excess weight around the middle can put strain on your heart. Check how your heart health measures up by digging out the measuring tape. Measure again in 12 weeks’ time after some heart healthy changes to your diet and lifestyle and aim for less than 80cm for women and less than 94cm for men.
Achievable – Are you trying to help someone at home give up smoking? Is this achievable for them right now? Don’t set them up for failure by pestering them to go cold turkey but make a promise to support them by removing the triggers, changing the routine and directing them to smoking cessation techniques.
Realistic – If you’re a busy parent or a full time carer, it might not be practical to ditch the car and take up cycling, but you might be able to include a brisk buggy walk to your day or go swimming once a week. The key to being physically active is to find realistic ways to sit less and move more.
Timed– Set a goal date and make sure your goal is achievable in the time frame. Why not sign up for a Santa themed running event to keep the momentum going over winter? Committing to a date helps keep you motivated and you’ll feel a sense of achievement when you cross the finishing line.
Help create healthier, happier, longer lives for everyone. Write yourself a pledge today.