What makes for a healthy heart?
Well I’m inspired to share with you that dad’s heart attack although it was a surprise, is actually what causes and creates change. When you are contemplating how did this happen to me, it changes you.
I can’t speak for dad but I can speak for myself when I say I needed a shock too for change to happen in my life. And when you are met with the prospect of your mortality, that’s when you reflect and go wow, life really is precious.
My Aunty Margaret would always say this in her own way - your health is your wealth. Being healthy is so important to your quality of life. This is because she watched on and supported her brother who suffered a lot through his life with the failure of his kidney. He has passed on now but in some ways he is the reminder to take care of yourself no matter what.
So today I want to share with you some of dad bad habits so you might think twice about your daily habits. Because it’s about small changes that help us stay healthy.
Dad loves salted nuts and salty chips - doesn’t matter if we are talking about fish and chips or the ones in a packet. Salt is his favourite condiment. Sorry dad but it’s true.
The reason I’m writing this is to give people an understanding that this is/was the way he lived on a daily basis but if you catch it now you can moderately or dramatically change your behaviours so you don’t end up with a heart attack and heart disease. Ps I love my dad and it’s not about making him wrong but to show you simple things you can do.
So he would have a beer with salted beer nuts, packet of original salted chips. Guess what another disappointment for you but alcohol is not your friend. Yep it’s a another red flag for heart disease - alcohol.
It’s not just alcohol but it’s the level of consumption and amount of binge drinking that can also increase your risk for heart disease. One or two drinks daily, four drinks in one sitting is the way to change your habits if you want to be heart healthy.
Weekends were party time for dad sometimes so yes a few too many were often had. But even when he was younger a lot of drinking occurred. The culture said it was acceptable. It’s just the way it was. So cumulatively and over time your body just can’t handle it. I’m going to guess he drank too much. I bought him alcohol free beer last Christmas. Yes it’s a thing.
Fatty pork in the Chinese diet is another culprit. Well I don’t know about you, but we had lots of bacon. Always the rind was crackled. We had Chinese style Roast Pork with crackling. We had Roast Pork with crackling and apple sauce. We had BBQ Pork.
That’s a lot of fatty oils that is definitely not good for you. And it doesn’t matter how much Chinese tea you drink afterwards it’s definitely not going to ying and yang anything. It’s just something to become more aware of - what you are eating but also what fatty oils and fatty foods are you eating too much of?
Exercise. Dad was quite active. But it’s about activity that gets your heart moving and heart rate up for at least 30-60 minutes of activity and through the week too. I remember dad going to the gym when we were little but as an adult he had a home gym but not sure how much it got used.
Last year? I decided to run the heart foundations MyMarathon which is running a marathon over the month of October. I took up Park Run a few years ago. The first year of getting active, I started attending events to get me motivated like darkness to daylight, the jetty to jetty fun run , bridge to Brisbane etc
I believe in being a role model for my kids and family. Every now and then one of the kids will come along to Park Run with me. I’m yet to invite dad actually but I think I should! Dad come to Park Run - you can walk you don’t have to run!
And here’s the thing it’s never too late to start! I spoke to a regular park runner yesterday who shared with me she started proper exercise at age 59, and she participates in a University study now about the ageing brain. It was so interesting to hear from her. She ran through with a young whipper snapper and we celebrated that it doesn’t matter how old you are, the real win is the exercise you are doing for you.
Park Run is free you can go here to register https://www.parkrun.com.au/
Here is a link for Dad’s heart foundation donation page for his birthday but more than that you can find a ton of information and resources here. When October ticks around I hope you’ll join mymarathon.
We are a family of shopkeepers. We share our journey with the world, right from where we are. If we were to plot on a map where our family hails from, of course, the majority are from China and Indonesia, and now Australia, however we are still discovering the facts of our heritage so much is still unknown. We were raised in Darwin, Northern Territory, and when our ancestors arrived to Darwin, unfortunately, after the tropical cyclones Darwin is renowned for, a lot of our records disappeared. This journey we share is about documenting our lives now, for our next generations and also for providing the difference we want to make right now.