You Can't See Your Heart So take Good Care Of It

Caring for your heart and making a will are two issues that affect every aspect of society. From children to elderly people, from office workers to celebrities, good health is something that should always be valued. As actress and singer SU POLLARD explains, taking care of yourself is a task that should never be taken lightly.....

Heart disease and heart attacks have affected my friends and family in the past and that's given me a shock into realising how little we care for our hearts.

It's made me realise that it is so important to stay healthy and make sure you can enjoy your life to the full.

I think one of the things very few people realise is how heart disease can affect as many women as men. Women think that it is always cancer that affects them, but heart disease is another one to look out for.

Your heart is something inside that you cannot see. So it's important to make sure you take care of it.

It's not like your skin - you can see if that's sore or cut - but your heart suffers silently, and when it does become ill the results can be terrible.

I am just a great believer in making people aware of themselves and of keeping fit and healthy.

And to make sure you care for your heart you definitely need some awareness of how it works and what will work for you.

It's not something to be taken lightly - every single person needs to ensure that they care for themselves and to look out for others around them.

I see supporting campaigns such as this as my way of supporting others - letting them know how important it is to care for themselves and live a fit, healthy and fun life.

The way I look at it, you need to have everything in moderation. It can be so easy to drink, smoke and eat too much. But if you stop and think more often then you will be helping yourself.

My friend Terry is a great example. He had a heart attack a few years ago at the age of 48.

That frightened both him and me no end, but it did shock him into leading a better lifestyle. He was lucky that he survived the attack and can tell the tale and improve his eating and exercise, but you have to remember that some people are not so lucky.

Something like Terry's heart attack really makes you start thinking about things.

Later on he then found out that there was a history of heart conditions in his family - apparently that's something you need to look out for - and his mum has since had a triple heart bypass.

I think that educating people about healthy lifestyles should start early though. There is no point in letting children be unhealthy because things like heart disease build up over the years and just get worse and worse.

A lot of children of school age probably have parents who suffer from heart problems or ill health and so they know all about what it involves, but in practice these things just don't work the same way.

The long and short of it is the fact that everyone wants a fabulous life and we want to help people to do that.

Talking about hearts, wills and keeping healthy is not all gloom and doom - I wouldn't want people to think that.

It's just about making yourself happier and healthier.

Who doesn't want to be fit and fabulous?

I think as a child I was really helped out by Hilda, my mum, because she was very strict and only let me have about one sweet a week.

At the time I complained and thought she was being mean, but now I really thank her because it meant I never got a sweet tooth and it's made it easier for me to eat healthily.

What I do to make sure I've got a healthy heart is to give it a test every day. I've started skipping for 100 skips every day. It doesn't take long but it really gets you out of breath.

It's like they say - every little helps. And it does.

My sister is a nutritionist and I get a lot of my enthusiasm for health from her - she's taught me about heart health and I think it's worth knowing how very important it is.

I live in a three-storey house in London, so I also get plenty of exercise just walking around my home!

The reason I'm so keen to let people know that heart disease is such a killer and that it can be avoided is because I know quite how essential it is to stay healthy.

In some cases, for some people, it's actually a case of life and death.

You can have all of the money in the world but nothing can buy you health and a good life.

Lincolnshire Echo
March 2004