In good heart for Valentine’s Day

Dr Richard Oliver, GP and Joint Clinical Director of the Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group
Dr Richard Oliver, GP and Joint Clinical Director of the Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group
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VALENTINE’S Day – a time for romance, expressing love and showing emotion.

But it is also a time to love yourself, to make sure your health is in top condition so you can be there for your loved ones.

Heart clip art.

Heart clip art.

Most people find it hard to make time to regularly see their GP, especially if there is nothing glaring wrong with their health.

But Sheffield doctors say people should have regular check-ups, to catch any problems in the bud.

Dr Richard Oliver, Ecclesfield GP and joint clinical director of the new Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Throughout the year, it is important to keep to an active and healthy lifestyle and whatever you believe about Valentine’s Day, it is actually a perfect excuse to look after yourself and your health.

“I understand the term ‘going for a medical’ can be confusing, but as long as you do the regular things such as keeping an eye on your weight, pulse and blood pressure you should have the basis for a healthy start.

A Generic photo of a happy couple together.  See PA Feature HEALTH Valentine. PA Photo/Generic

A Generic photo of a happy couple together. See PA Feature HEALTH Valentine. PA Photo/Generic

“As we get older it’s more important to do things such as checking our cholesterol levels which can be done by contacting your GP practice or even by a simple test at some local pharmacies.

“Obviously we don’t want to stop anyone enjoying life but staying healthy and active will mean you are likely to have more time to concentrate on loving yourself, your family and your friends.”

One of the most common health problems in South Yorkshire is related to the very symbol of love – the heart itself.

Cardiovascular disease and other heart problems are the biggest killer in our region, accounting for one in every three deaths, and it can strike without warning.

An appointment where a patient is having his blood pressure taken

An appointment where a patient is having his blood pressure taken

At Sheffield’s Northern General Hospital alone, more than 500 permanent pacemakers and internal defibrillators were fitted and more than 1,600 angioplasty procedures were carried out in 2011.

Tomorrow heart specialists at the hospital are holding a Valentine’s Day ‘Love your Heart’ event.

The aim of the day is to help educate people about heart conditions, the care that is provided and how to have a healthy heart.

Specialist heart nurse Julie Bashforth, who is organising the event, said: “Valentine’s Day is a day where we reflect about love and we think that this is a good opportunity to Love your Heart. This is a unique chance for the general public to have access to cardiac health professionals, where they can ask questions and get advice on the signs and symptoms of heart problems.”

Former Star editor Alan Powell, is one of many grateful people who have experience the cardiac services in Sheffield first-hand.

Alan collapsed on his way to work at The Star two years ago, suffering a massive heart attack.

He was rushed to the Northern General, spending 10 days in intensive care. Alan, now aged 66, said: “The event is the ideal opportunity for anyone who has any issues or are worried about their heart to get information.’’

The Love your Heart event takes place at the Huntsman and Clock Tower dining rooms at the Northern General Hospital tomorrow, from 11am to 3pm.