09 Feb 2018

Many of us will be giving our hearts away in the tradition of Valentine's Day, but do you know how healthy your heart is?

NHS St Helens Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG ) want us to use this Valentine's Day to have a serious think about our hearts because keeping your heart healthy is one of the most important thing you can do, whatever your age.

Eating a healthy, balanced diet, being more physically active, reducing alcohol and giving up smoking are just some of the steps to take to keep your heart thumping.

Dr Hilary Flett from NHS St Helens CCG said: "Anyone of any age can take steps to keep their heart healthy.

"You don't have to take massive steps like joining a gym or radically changing your meals, but make little changes. Try a new fruit or vegetable, drink a little less alcohol, go a street further than you usually would when you're taking the dog for a walk or leave the car at home if it's a short journey.

"Keeping an eye on your weight and trying to manage your stress levels will also go a long way to help prevent heart disease.

"Our hearts are the most important muscle in our bodies, so we should all take steps to make sure we keep it going for as long as possible."

There are certain symptoms you should watch out for too. Chest pains, dizziness, shortness of breath and tiredness could be signs that something may not be quite right with your heart. These symptoms along with noticeable palpitations, where your heart feels like it's pounding, fluttering or beating irregularly, could be signs of Atrial Fibrillation (AF).

You can find out your heart age and steps to keep your heart healthy on the NHS Choices website: https://www.nhs.uk/tools/pages/heartage.aspx

If you are concerned about any of these symptoms, call NHS 111 for more advice.

You can call NHS 111 which is free from any network and available 24/7, here they will be able to give you advice about what to do next or where is the best place to go for further assessment and treatment.