Bradford`s Healthy Hearts - lifestyle choices

It may be an old adage, but it’s absolutely true that it’s never too late to change your lifestyle.  Even in old age, there are huge benefits to stopping smoking, doing some exercise, cutting down on alcohol and eating more healthily.

Heart disease kills!

CVD includes all the diseases of the heart and circulation including coronary heart disease, angina, heart attack, congenital heart disease and stroke. It's also known as heart and circulatory disease. Other types of cardiovascular disease include heart valve disease and cardiomyopathy (a term used for diseases of the heart muscle).

In the Bradford district one in five people over the age of 65 dies from coronary heart disease, whilst one in two people will die of some form of vascular disease.

In Bradford Districts CCG alone, more than 41,000 people (over one in 10) are affected by high blood pressure (hypertension) – a leading cause of heart disease and stroke - whilst over 4,000 people have an irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation) and more than 5,000 people have experienced a stroke or mini-stroke (TIA).


How healthy is your heart?

Use this free calculator to find out your heart age.

What does it tell you about your heart?  Whatever it tells you, now is the right time to start thinking about how to make changes to your lifestyle.   We’ve put together some of our favourite sources of information, advice and help so that you can find them easily.

You could also talk to your practice nurse about how you can get the most health benefits from this information.

1. Smoking

Time to quit smoking!

Giving up smoking is the single biggest thing you can do to improve your heart health.

That’s because people who smoke are twice as likely to have a heart attack as those who don’t smoke.

The Bradford Stop Smoking Service will help you quit. It’s free and easy to use. You could also download this free NHS stop smoking app to your mobile phone.

In next to no time you will feel the health and financial benefits of stopping smoking, including:


2. Alcohol

Do you know how much you are drinking? Keep a drinks diary for a week...

3. Fatty Foods

We recommend eating a healthy, balanced, high-fibre diet...

4. Overweight

If you’d like free local support to help you lose weight...

5. Blood Pressure

More than one in ten people living in Bradford are known to have high...

6. Stress

Spotting the early signs of stress will also help prevent it getting...

7. Diabetes

People with diabetes have a higher chance of developing cardio...



1. Exercise

30 minutes’ exercise a day keeps your heart healthy …

The best way of maintaining a healthy weight – and reduce your chances of developing high blood pressure - is to combine a healthy diet with regular exercise.

That means around 30 minutes of physical exercise on five or more days a week – things like: fast walking, riding a bike, mowing the lawn, hiking and much more.  

Regular exercise makes your heart and blood circulatory system more efficient, lowers your cholesterol level, and keeps your blood pressure at a healthy level.

If you're doing no exercise now, start out slow. Even 10 minutes at a time may offer some health benefits. Studies show that people who have achieved even a moderate level of fitness are much less likely to die early than those with a low fitness level.

There's lots of information about building up and maintaining your fitness on the “live well” pages at NHS Choices.

You can also use the Bradford Encouraging Exercise in People (BEEP) programme from Active Bradford. Ask at your GP practice for a referral. 

2. Smartphones

Let your smartphone do the talking …

There are lots of helpful tools you can download to your smartphone to help with changing your lifestyle, including apps to:

Have a look at the NHS Choices health apps library to find more safe and tested apps that will help you manage your health