Fit and healthy for life
Good health can be enhanced and illness prevented or treated in simple ways that anyone can manage. This mix of traditional wisdom and new scientific discoveries can help you stay fit and healthy for life.
Listen to your heart
Your heart pumps through a vast network to feed your body’s cells. Increasingly, studies from around the world are finding that heart health is closely linked to lifestyle. So there is plenty you can do to prevent damage to this vital organ.
Is your heartbeat frequently fast and irregular? That’s one symptom of atrial fibrillation (AF), a common heart rhythm disturbance and a major risk factor for stroke. Around one in 50 Australians aged over 55 has atrial fibrillation, but many don’t know it. Check your heart rate and rhythm by feeling your pulse in your neck or wrist. Consult your doctor if your heartbeat is irregular or fast (over 100 beats a minute at rest), or if you have other symptoms such as palpitations, shortness of breath, lightheadedness or faintness. Here are the best-kept secrets of surgeons around the world.
Check your neck size
According to recent studies, the thickness of your neck may provide more clues to your risk of heart disease than the size of your waist. US researchers have found that the greater the circumference, the higher the risk of heart disease. The average neck circumference for a woman is 34.2 cm, and 40.5 cm for a man. A fat neck may be a sign of heart-unfriendly visceral fat deposits around the liver and heart, and may indicate obstructive sleep apnoea.