Don’t wait to be diagnosed with heart disease before you look for heart disease programs. There are various risk factors for heart disease, and 90% of Australians have at least one of them (Source: Heart Research Australia).
These risk factors include:
- Cholesterol levels
- High blood pressure
- Being inactive
- Living with diabetes
- Being overweight
- Unhealthy diet
- Ethnic background
- Family history
Consult your doctor to find out if you are at risk, and then find a heart disease program that works for you. Prevention is better than a cure, and heart disease includes many serious conditions, including;
- Coronary heart disease
- Heart attack
- Heart failure
- Arrhythmias (abnormal heartbeats)
- Aneurysm (bulge caused by a weakening of the heart muscle or artery)
- Septal defect (abnormal opening between the left and right sides of the heart)
- Peripheral vascular disease (disease of the large blood vessels of the arms, legs, and feet)
- Rheumatic heart disease (caused by rheumatic fever, and mainly affecting the heart valves)
- Congenital heart disease (defects or malformations in the heart or blood vessels that occur before birth)
The Life! program is, among many other things, a heart disease program that reinforces a healthy lifestyle, so you can be best equipped to prevent any serious heart conditions.
What does a heart disease program like the Life! program do?
Helps you to improve your eating habits
A healthy diet is important for preventing or managing heart disease. This involves eating a variety of healthy foods with important nutrients such as protein and fibre, while also avoiding harmful saturated and trans fats, added sodium, high cholesterol foods, etc. The Life! program will help you with:
- Healthy recipes for all meals of the day
- Tips for eating out
- Reading food labels and modifying recipes to get the most nutritional value out of what you eat
To help you engage in more physical activity
Exercise is important in lowering the risk of heart conditions. However, getting the daily 30 minutes of exercise recommended by experts such as The Heart Foundation can be difficult for many reasons; from scheduling time in, to finding the motivation to do it consistently, to finding the right exercises that match your health goals.
The Life! program doesn’t just teach you how to exercise. Your health professionals will help you identify the best kind of physical activity to suit you and your goals, and then help you include that into your lifestyle so that it becomes part of your daily routine.
To give you support and help to overcome challenges
As you continue your healthy lifestyle journey, the Life! program works with you every step of the way. Throughout your sessions, the Life! team will address your concerns, help you with any challenges and give you a clear understanding as to where you’ll go next.
Is the Life! program an effective heart disease prevention program?
The Life! program is an effective heart disease program, as it gives you the resources and the knowledge to achieve a healthy lifestyle and effectively lower your risk of heart disease.
Life! is a free healthy lifestyle program that helps you improve your eating habits, increase your physical activity and manage stress. You can choose from a group course or the telephone health coaching service.
Our experienced health professionals will help you make small changes to your lifestyle so that you can achieve your health goals and reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
The Life! program is funded by the Victorian government and managed by Diabetes Victoria. You can check your eligibility for the program here.
Elleni Kaias, Accredited Practicing Dietitian | Primary Care Engagement Lead
Kristie Cocotis, Head of Prevention and Health Promotion
Sarah Dubé, Strategy and Engagement Lead
Ria Cheripuram, Digital Communications Officer
Tegan Kohlman, Communications and Social Marketing Officer