Healthy Tip: Put your heart into the grand finale of bank holidays

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The last of the 2017 bank holiday weekends is fast approaching, but before you head to the garden shed with your packed up BBQ, summer games and deck chairs for another year, follow our tips on how to protect the hearts of you and yours and really pack the most into this grand finale of long summer weekends. 

Be the master of hearty BBQs
If a BBQ is on the cards this August bank holiday, put your heart into it with some healthy alternatives to the traditional burgers, sausages and processed meats which are laden with saturated fats and salt.  When making meatballs or burgers omega 3 packed tuna steak can be minced and flavoured with lime, ginger and coriander for a healthy zesty alternative to red meat.  Our recipe of the week will also pack a punch in your blood pressure with crispy potatoes left in their skins and served on a skewer with brightly coloured veg.  

Take to the streets
With plenty of carnivals, markets and food events just around the corner, make sure you know how to spot some heart healthy street food.  Simple swaps can go a long way towards a healthier heart and still tingle the taste buds; swap over processed white bread for wholemeal pitta you can hold in the hand; opt for white meat or fish or try out vegetarian alternatives as a delicious low fat filling,; go for a side of corn on the cob or baked sweet potato wedges instead of fat laden fries.  You could even entertain your neighbours and kids with your own driveway ice cream stall using frozen low fat yoghurt or fruit smoothies. 

Raise your game
More than three in five of the 4,000 women asked on our Heart Research UK and Damart Loving Hearts survey didn’t know that they should be doing 150 minutes of physical activity each week to keep their hearts healthy.  Whilst it’s important to relax, try to limit lazy days and keep moving as often as you can to a point of being slightly warm and out of breath.  Garden games like basketball, three legged races and swing ball can be a fun way of entertaining the brood or catching up with the neighbours while helping to reduce blood pressure and improve the flow of oxygen to your heart.

Enjoy a heart healthy festival
Beer festivals are popular over the bank holiday and often include family fun too, but be sure to lead by example; know your limits, make sensible choices, take water breaks and tap into opportunities for a walk in the fresh air or park games on offer.  If you’re one of the many thousands all over the country who will be enjoying the euphoria of a music festival this bank holiday weekend, let the beat drop by singing out loud and dancing and jumping around ‘til you break a sweat.  

However you choose to spend your extra day, remember life is precious and each day is a gift.  Make your bank holiday count towards a healthier, happier and longer life with loved ones now and in the future.