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Linda Barratt - health column

What could you do in ten minutes? Making small changes to your daily routine can make a big difference to your heart health – which in the long term could save your life.

February is Heart Month, so the British Heart Foundation is challenging people to take 10 minutes every day to make small changes for a healthier heart.

In my role as cardiac rehabilitation nurse I see patients who have had heart surgery or a heart attack and help them get back on their feet again. With a mixture of exercise and educational sessions, I help patients and their relatives get back to their everyday lives by building on confidence, to improve their physical and psychological state.

My team has been running cardiac rehabilitation programmes across the county for nearly 20 years, expanding the service and welcoming new patients as we go.

Cardiac rehabilitation helps people understand their conditions, recover from surgery or treatment and make changes to their lifestyles to improve their heart health. It also reduces the risk of further heart problems.

There’s a lot you can do to improve your heart health, even before you’ve had any problems with your heart. Your heart is a muscle that needs oxygen from your blood to work properly. Exercising keeps your heart strong, lowers cholesterol and lowers your blood pressure. It can also help you feel more relaxed, have more energy and give you a sense of achievement.

Even small changes, like taking a walk in a break or taking the stairs instead of the lift or escalator, can add up to make a difference.

Being active helps keep your heart healthy. If you’re active every day you’ll be less likely to develop coronary heart disease.

Why not take on the 10 Minute Challenge and show your heart some love? Visit www.bhf.org.uk or www.redditchhaleandhearties.org.uk

4ward is our Trustwide culture change programme which is helping us build a more positive, supportive workplace for the benefit of our patients and colleagues. At its heart are our four 4ward Behaviours.