September 29 is World Heart Day, and so there is no better time to think about matters of the heart.

Organised by the World Heart Federation, this year’s World Heart Day message is that your heart powers your whole body. It lets you love, laugh and live your life to the full – so you really should be looking after it.

If you don’t, you will be putting yourself at risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD).

CVD – which includes heart disease and stroke – is the world’s number one killer.

Each year, 17.5 million people die prematurely due to CVD. By 2030 this is expected to rise to 23 million.

But just a few simple lifestyle changes can prevent CVD. Eat a healthy diet, quit smoking and take more exercise and your heart will be healthier.

But before you start, it helps to know what shape your heart is already in.

So, to mark World Heart Day, at Medcare we are offering heart health checks at a very special price of just €75.

For this you will get a cholesterol check, blood pressure measure, BMI assesment, electrocardiogram (ECG) to measure heart rhythm, and a consultation with the nurse.

Why are these checks important?

Well, high blood pressure is the main risk factor for CVD, so it really pays to get your blood pressure checked.

Cholesterol and BMI can also be early warning signs for CVD risk, and the ECG will pick up any abnormalities in your heartbeat.

Says our doctor, Najma Hussain: “CVD is a silent killer. People can die without ever knowing they have a problem, so heart health checks are vital. Any issues can be detected and action taken before it is too late.”

Once you know the state of your heart, and with advice from our nurse, you can start on a programme to improve your heart health.

The World Heart Federation breaks this down into three steps –

Fuel your heart
Eat and drink well to give your heart the fuel it needs for you to live your life.

Cutting down processed and pre-packaged foods, drinking water and unsweetened juices instead of sugary drinks, eating five portions of fruit and veg a day and reducing alcohol intake will all help your heart.

Move your heart

Stay active as regular exercise will reduce your risk of heart disease. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity five times a week. This doesn’t have to mean hitting the gym; playing, walking and even doing the housework count as long as you put the effort in.

Love your heart

Show your heart you really love it by quitting smoking.

Read more from the World Heart Federation below. And, remember, if you book a special-price heart check with us, our nurse will also give you lots more great advice on keeping your heart healthy and avoiding the world’s biggest killer, CVD.

*Offer valid until end of October 2016. Appointments must be booked and are subject to availability. Credit card payments may incur a fee.