Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) can happen to anyone at any time. However, there are lifestyle factors that can greatly influence a person’s risk of experiencing this life-threatening condition.
SCA is when the heart malfunctions and suddenly stops beating. SCA has a massive 90% death rate in Australia, meaning many people unfortunately don’t make it to the hospital when experiencing the condition.
Whilst it’s imperative that public spaces like sports clubs and supermarkets have the best automated external defibrillator Australia has on hand, it’s also vital that people take steps to prevent this incredibly threatening condition from occurring.
And given that preventing SCA revolves largely around avoiding clot formation and plaque buildup, it makes sense that the tips here are diet and lifestyle-related.
So, with all this in mind, here are five tips for prevent SCA:
- Eat well
Your diet is directly related to your cardiac health, and it goes without saying that you should continue to eat a healthy diet if you want to maintain a decent level of heart health as you get older.
Therefore, it’s important to avoid foods that are full of bad oils, are very sugary, high in carbohydrates and high in cholesterol. All of these foods increase your cholesterol levels, which prevent proper blood flow and clog the arteries.
Instead, try maintaining a diet that is full of healthy, nutritious fruit and vegetables, as this will go a very long way to preventing the risk of SCA now and in the future.
- Keep exercising
You should exercise for many reasons, and one of the key reasons is to keep your ticker healthy! Even just taking a few minutes out of each day to exercise will go a long way to reducing the risk of SCA, so put on your trainers and go for that walk around the corner instead of driving!
- Try to lose weight if possible
If you have a body mass index (BMI) that is too high, then this is putting your heart in a precarious position. But by combining healthy food and regular exercise, you could definitely start to lose weight which, in turn, will reduce your BMI and be much better for your heart.
- Try to reduce your stress levels
By working towards reducing your stress levels, you will be going a long way to reducing the risk of SCA. Excessive stress has long been known as a direct cause of cardiac arrest, and therefore it is important to try and reduce it wherever possible.
Mindfulness and yoga are two great ways to reduce stress levels, as well as enjoying activities like exercising, reading, mindful cooking and other techniques.
- Quit smoking & drinking
We get it: quitting these two vices is hard. Australia has a deeply-entrenched drinking culture that makes it difficult to go to a restaurant without someone trying to make you have a beer, and this can make quitting difficult.
But drinking and, naturally, smoking, are both direct causes of SCA, especially among older Australians. Therefore, it is important to try and quit smoking and at least severely limit the amount of alcohol you drink, especially as you age.
These are the main tips for preventing SCA among Australians of all ages. The risk increases as we get older, and therefore we should prioritise the above-listed healthy traits to try and prevent this terrible condition from occurring – they’re all great for our general health and wellbeing anyway!