Hartley’s Ultimate Guide to Heart Health

Hartley’s Ultimate Guide to Heart Health

Jenny Brannan
Posted by Jenny Brannan

Date: Friday, 10 February 2017. -  
Blog, First Aid, Defibrillators

When it comes to having a healthy heart there are many factors that account to your most important organ being in the best shape it can be.

Remember your heart will only look after you as well as you look after it. 

For National Heart Month, Survival Squad member, Hartley has stepped up and has decided to make it his mission to bring to your attention the importance of looking after your heart and the simple changes you can make to achieve this.

Hi Hartley

Each member of the Survival Squad has an individual power; Hartley is an expert when it comes to ECG and X-Ray vision. His X-Ray vision can measure what rhythm your heart is in, making sure your old ticker is tocking just as it should.

His other expertise, electrocardiogram (ECG), goes hand in hand with his X-Ray vision as he knows every heart rhythm and what it looks like. This allows him to read the arrhythmias quickly, speeding up the required treatment process.

For National Heart Month, Hartley has decided to focus on raising awareness so you know how to monitor your heart rhythm, what warning signs to look for and recognise and three simple ways you can improve your heart health, this February.

Understanding Arrhythmias

There are many types of heart rhythms. A regular heartbeat is known as Sinus Rhythm or Normal Heart Rhythm (NHR). This is between 50 to 100 beats per minute.

An irregular heartbeat is known as an arrhythmia; this means the heart is not beating in the regular rhythm it should be. 

If your heart is beating too fast or feels like it’s fluttering then your heart is experiencing what doctors call tachycardia. If you’re experiencing the opposite of this and you feel like your heart is beating slower than it should be then you’re experiencing bradycardia.

Two of the most important arrhythmias to be aware of is ‘Ventricular Tachycardia’ and ‘Ventricular Fibrillation’; if someone is experiencing one of these arrhythmias then they are suffering a cardiac arrest and require treatment in the form of effective CPR and defibrillation of the heart from a defibrillator device.

Arrhythmias can be a medical emergency, but they can also be nothing to worry about. If you feel that there is something different or wrong then contact your doctor immediately.

Monitor Yourself

With various advancements in technology, there are many ways you can monitor your heart rhythm. By doing this you will have peace of mind that everything is in check and working as it should be.

The simplest way to check everything is working as it should is to do a pulse check. You can do this on either the wrist or on the neck. Simply take your index and middle finger slide it to the middle of the wrist or to the side of the windpipe until you find your pulse and time and count your pulse for 15 seconds then times it by 4. This will tell you your heart’s beat per minute.

Another way to measure your heart rate is to visit your doctor and get them to listen with a stethoscope. Listening directly to the heart will be able to tell you and your doctor whether it is beating regularly or is in a particular arrhythmia.

Hartley’s third way of monitoring the heart is to do it on a Smartphone. Due to technological advancements, there are various Apps that can be downloaded which can be used to monitor your heart rhythm. An example of a heart monitoring App is Cardiio. To measure your heart rate on this App, all you have to do is place your finger over the camera flash and wait for your results.

Although heart rhythms vary, your heart should always be in a regular rhythm.

Hartley’s Heart Healthy Tips

There’s no better time to start looking after your heart properly than National Heart Month. So, now that you understand arrhythmias, what to look out for and how you can monitor your heart, it’s time to move onto how you can effectively look after your heart.

Hartley’s first top tip is to be more active. Just by implementing 30 minutes of moderate exercise into your daily routine will positively impact your heart’s health. Even if you just add a 30-minute walk into your day, this can lead to a lower chance of a heart attack, lower cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure and weight loss!

The second tip Hartley has decided to share is to be more mindful about what you’re eating. It is vital that you moderate the amount of sugary and fatty foods and drinks you intake. An indulgent treat here and there won’t hurt, but being more mindful about our diets can help lower your blood pressure and keep your cholesterol levels in check.

Thirdly, Hartley believes that National Heart Month is the perfect time to start the ball rolling when it comes to quitting smoking. This is the single best thing you can do for your heart health. Smoking is one of the most significant causes of coronary heart disease (CHD). If you give up smoking for one year, your chances of having a heart attack decreases to about half of that of a smoker's!

Healthy and Happy Hearts

Now that Hartley has provided you with a deep insight to heart rhythms, how to monitor these rhythms and how you can effectively look after your heart, is there anything that you would change?

Maybe you’re already looking after your heart, but after reading Hartley’s guide is there anything that you feel you could add to your heart-healthy checklist?

Leave us a comment in the commenting section below and share how you look after your heart, or if commenting isn’t your thing then why not Tweet us @imptraining and share with us your tips and tricks to looking after your heart.