Health Tips

Keeping your heart healthy

Keeping your heart-health in check and always on its everyday A-game

Written by Palesa Mbatha

As we approach salt awareness month annually observed in March, we can collectively agree that our heart is the most hardworking organ in our bodies. Our hearts beat every second, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with no rest. Medical Professionals all around the world encourage us to take care of our hearts from an early stage so that our hearts can continue to take care of us until the later stages of our lives.

The hard reality still remains a fact that we are all prone to heart-related conditions whether we inherit them from our family history or we attract them through the unhealthy lifestyle choices we make.

To date, health statistics reveal that heart-related diseases and strokes are among the top causes of death, that are commonly influenced or aggravated by conditions like hypertension (high blood pressure) and maintaining higher than medically acceptable cholesterol levels. There are other underlying medical conditions (such as diabetes) and other unhealthy habits (such as excessive sodium intake and smoking tobacco) that put us at risk of developing heart-related diseases, which unfortunately may lead to death if not treated timeously.

Fortunately, with the correct attitude and mindset we can control our food and lifestyle choices, inclusive of our sodium (salt) intake. It is important to know that too much sodium causes the body to retain water that causes an increase in hypertension and in-return puts a strain on our blood vessels, kidneys and heart.

What you put on your plate has a significant influence on every aspect of your heart health. A healthy nutritious diet with moderate sodium intake plays a major role in your heart health and can help reduce the risk of Heart-related diseases.

What happens when you put your ‘’heart-health’’ at risk:

  • Compromised Circulatory Disorders, such as fatigue or in extreme cases, chest pains.
  • The heart serves as a power supply for your whole body, therefore without the power supply other organs cannot function to their optimal capacity which increases the risk of the entire body system deteriorating and eventually shutting down if it is not treated in time.

Top 5 tips to help take better care of your heart-health:

  1. Reduce your sodium (salt) intake
  2. Eat a nutritious heart-healthy balanced diet
  3. Exercise
  4. Manage stress
  5. Go for routine wellness check-ups at an Alpha Clin Clinic in your community. Book your wellness checkup at AlphaCare bookings

Immediately seek help or visit an Alpha Pharm Pharmacy in your community when you experience any of the following signs:

  • Chest or back pain
  • Difficulty breathing or speaking
  • A rise in hypertension (blood pressure)
  • Loss of vision
  • Numbness or weakness

 

Health Tips Holiday

Christmas Parties without Pandemics

Suggestions on how to maintain an exciting intimate friends and family Pandemic-Christmas gathering

If you do celebrate Christmas-day then you might agree with us that it will definitely be a whole lot different this year. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic that has left a bitter taste in our mouths we have no choice but to adjust and make most of the situation we are currently faced with.

We continuously find ourselves tightening our financial belts by ensuring that every penny goes a long way for us. The good news is, even if our Christmas family traditions might not be the same as the previous years, we just need to make the necessary changes that are in accordance with Covid-19 regulations, one of them being limiting the number of people at gatherings. Despite all that is happening around us here are a few suggestions on how to maintain an exciting yet intimate friends and family Pandemic-Christmas gathering while making it memorable.

Limit invitations: We all know no amount of people can be stopped from joining their friends and family on such a pleasant day. This time around the host will have to carry the big and necessary responsibility of ensuring that there is adequate space to accommodate all members invited to the Christmas gathering. There should be enough space to accommodate people while still being able to maintain social distancing. If the Christmas feast will be served in a table setting then there should be enough seating space maintaining sufficient space between the seats around the table.

Modern Solutions: If any family members need to be excluded for their safety or the volume constraints, a great idea is to split the party up and have video calls set up so everyone can eat together from separate locations.

Retro family recipes: If not every family member will be able to attend the Christmas gathering as per family tradition then you might want to consider preparing your retro family recipes. Retro family recipes always have a way of keeping the spirit alive to a point of bringing back wonderful family memories to share with everyone around you. Trust us when we say- you will be surprised what funny and good memories your guests would love share over these wonderful heart-warming meals.

Christmas carol karaoke: Once everybody is full and people have feasted with seconds and thirds a Christmas carol karaoke challenge can certainly serve as a collective entertainment tool. You can take it as far as purchasing a microphone and dressing up to make it more invigorating. Children can have their own karaoke challenge which can be turned into a mini competition where the winner gets a prize for being the best singer. Remember: this is meant to be innocent fun that will bring everyone together so everyone has to participate.

Get people involved: No need to drown yourself with all the preparations for the big day- it will only leave you feeling exhausted and drained. The host is also allowed to enjoy the Christmas gathering like everyone else. By getting people involved you build the spirit of unity which always leaves everyone satisfied and geared to have more fun.

Stick to your budget: Overspending for a gathering of any nature is almost one the easiest things to do. In all honesty Christmas is just valid for 24 hours. Therefore, it is advisable to be cautious of your spending especially because the next month will be January where all responsibilities and expenses will be on the rise.

Share with us in the comment box below on how you are planning to spend your Pandemic-Christmas day.

Health Tips

New Years Health Resolutions

New Year Health Resolutions that are beneficial for your health and easy to keep

 

While setting-up New Year Health resolutions can mean getting back to your health A-game goals, by means of starting an exercise routine, weight-loss programme, hydrating yourself by increasing your water consumption and more. In someone else’s world it may mean something totally different.

Setting realistic goals is imperative and will assist you with reaching both your short and long-term goals. That is why you should take time to decide what would you like to achieve in terms of your health resolutions. Setting unrealistic expectations has been proven to be the root cause why most people are unable to achieve and see their goals through to the end. Make a decision and encourage yourself not to give-up or give-in should things not go as planned. At the end of it all you are own cheerleader and will only have yourself to appreciate once you see the results you have been working hard to achieve within your own unique time frame.

Here are some New Year Health Resolutions you can use as guidelines to set your own. Plus, they are beneficial for your health and easy to keep.

1. Focus on physical activity that you enjoy: If you enjoy something then it shouldn’t be hard or dreadful for you to do that specific thing. The same principle applies when doing physical activity that you enjoy. It is also imperative to choose physical activities that will fit in with your time schedule.

 

2. Lead a balanced lifestyle: Eating your greens and other healthy food products unfortunately does not mean that you are completely leading a balanced lifestyle. Leading a balanced lifestyle has other elements to it that can assist an individual to try and lead a balanced lifestyle. These elements comprise of taking good care of yourself-inclusive of giving your body sufficient rest. Being organised is another element that greatly reduces stress and anxiety. Having a clear objective from the onset helps you to plan accordingly and in advance.

 

3. Cutting down on sugar: If you have a sweet tooth, then it might be time for you to keep it in check by reducing sugary foods and drinks. A high consumption of sugary food and drinks can increase your risk of obesity, insulin resistance and other health related diseases. Try to substitute sugary foods and drinks with naturally sweet foods such as fruit and other foods you enjoy.

 

4. Be mindful of what you eat: From time to time, we immerse ourselves with food that we know is not the best for our bodies and general health. It is important to be mindful of what we take into our bodies. Migrating to healthier foods that can still be taken in moderation such as fruit, vegetables, nuts, poultry and carbohydrates are more beneficial to our bodies and keep it in optimum health.

 

5. Make a visit to your Medical Practitioner: Vitality health check-ups play a pivotal role in saving lives. A vitality health check-up helps detect early health concerns that you might not even be aware of. Various healthcare facilities offer different vitality health check-up programmes. Most vitality health check-ups consist of running tests for high-blood pressure, type-2 diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity and more.

Health Tips

Survive the Holidays With These Tips

Helpful tips for everyone to successfully make it through the festive season hassle-free!

It is probably safe to say the silly season, commonly known as the festive season has officially arrived. Our public spaces and malls are already screaming ‘it’s the festive season’ with their bright jingly Christmas trees and decorations, that will keep your eyes glued to them, in admiration of this wonderful and joyous harmony.

Even though the year 2020 has been a different and tragic year for most of us, almost nothing can keep the festive season bug at bay and in control.

By now we know that during every festive season people become healthcare experts, giving advice to everyone around them.

Now it is time to allow us Alpha healthcare professionals to share with you these festive season tips that are sure to safely carry you through to next year.

Arrive Alive: Over the past years It has been inevitable that the rate of car accidents that have occurred during the festive season are on the rise. It is all of our personal responsibility to ensure that we arrive alive everywhere we go. Make sure that your vehicle has passed its roadworthy test, all passengers should buckle-up inclusive of double-checking that all baby carseats are safely installed. Please remember to Rest! If you have been travelling for more than 3 hours it is important to keep yourself refreshed and alert for your destination and that can be achieved by getting sufficient rest. Repeat after us: ‘Rather arrive late than to not arrive at all. Keep that in mind whenever you refuse to rest when you travel to long-distance destinations.’

Healthy eating: The silly season doesn’t mean that you should still maintain a silly-eating habit or better yet pick-up unhealthy eating habits. Although most of us are probably going to binge on our special occasion foods and be best friends with our fridges over holidays. However, it is important to eat in moderation and be mindful of what we supply our bodies with and to ensure that children have balanced nutritional foods to keep their metabolisms balanced and fuller for longer periods of time.

Practice safety Covid-19 precautions: We are officially embracing the summer-season in the Southern himosphere and wearing a cloth mask is becoming a painful and dragging exercise. Budget and invest in 3ply face masks, and washable face masks that are breathable and have breathing valves that will prevent you from sweating and feeling hot under the mask.

Quick tip: Avoid putting your mask under your chin. Practice the healthy habit of completely removing your mask and putting it on whenever you are ready to wear it, along with maintaining social distancing, carrying hand-sanitisers and anti-bacterial wet wipes on-standby available at Alpha Pharm Pharmacies in your community.

Alcohol intake: Avoid letting the festive season rush put you at risk of developing alcohol-related diseases such as cancer. Limit your alcohol intake especially if you know you will be behind the wheel. The best advice is to match your drink to a glass of water, for every alcoholic drink consumed you drink a glass of water. Plus, this will save your life the following morning.

Vacation: Travelling during the Covid-19 is sure going to be a whole different ball-game this year. Planning your trip will not be the same as the last minute you have been getting up-to throughout the years! If you are guilty as charged, no need to worry just ensure that prioritising getting a Covid-19 certified property should be at the top of your list and follow all the safety Covid-19 precautions and you will be good to go.

Spending time with loved ones: If there was one lesson taught over the past few months is that the Covid-19 pandemic has taught us is to be appreciative of what we have in life and most importantly to rejoice in the gift of life. Unleash the spirit of giving and spreading joy to everyone around you by showering them with your love while still giving elbow bumps and maintaining social distancing effortlessly.

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