What can I do to take better care of my heart?


Sometimes we think that looking after our heart is a job for our ‘future selves.’ Unless you have been advised to by a doctor, a lot of us don’t immediately consider our heart health. Even though this is the case, you should make sure that you have regular check-ups as part of your expat health care plan while you are here in Singapore.

You can also take proactive measures in taking care of your ticker now that will have huge benefits later on. Check with your health insurance broker or call the Expat Insurance Singapore team if you would like to know more about which expat health cover plans allow you to get regular health checks. You will already be off to a flying start by doing that.

Not only does our team offer the best expat insurance plans in Singapore, we would also like to share some handy tips that will keep your heart healthy. We recommend doing these in conjunction with a regular health check with your GP. These should be included in most expat medical insurance plans.

Quit smoking. NOW.

We all know the research on how bad smoking is for our health. Smoking can cause blockages in the arteries which can lead to stroke and heart disease. When a smoker quits cigarettes for over 12 months, their risk of a heart attack is reduced by 50 per cent. After 15 years, they are at the same risk factor as a non-smoker. If you need help quitting, here are some cessation programs in Singapore that could help. If you want to try taking some steps yourself now, here are some action points that you could follow to get you started.

Try to stress less.

Life is busy and we are often under pressure but being under stress can raise your heart rate and blood pressure. Try to get a good night sleep, exercise for about 30 minutes a day and meditate if it’s your thing. A lot of expatriate health insurance plans are including wellness and mental health in their premiums now, so check with your Expat Insurance agent today to see if your plan has any cover that might help you here.

Move more.

Look at trying to get 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week. You should be able to carry a conversation, but you might be panting a little. The heart is made up of muscle, so work it like one! People often find that exercising improves their mental health, so you can manage the stress as well. Some insurers offer incentives like reduced premiums or discounted gym membership when you track your activities through their apps. Give our team a call and we can see if your plan includes any discounts for health tracking.

Pass on the salt.

Like everything, salt is fine in moderation and if it is used in conjunction with a balanced diet – think lots of veggies, fruit, grains, protein and a bit of fat and sugar every day. But too much of it with excess fat and sugar over a length of time can be bad news for your heart. Sodium increases your blood pressure and retains water, so it can put an extra burden on your heart, especially if it is already overworked. A bit of salt on your chips now and then won’t be a problem – but it may start to be if it becomes an everyday thing.

Keep it trim.

The more visceral fat that we carry, the more we increase our chance of heart disease. Visceral fat is found around our organs. We carry it on our tummies and it is measured by waist circumference. Women should aim to keep their waist measurement below 89cm and men below 100cm. Your GP includes all of these health markers in a yearly health check-up, so let our team know if you would like to find out more about keeping track of your health year on year.

Here is a link to a great resource by the NHS in the UK which has some very quick and actionable points that you could follow to keep your ticker in good nick.

If you need to speak to any of our consultants about what is included in your plan, give us a call today.

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