An ECG records the electrical activity of your heart at rest. It provides information about your heart rate and rhythm, and shows if there is enlargement of the heart due to high blood pressure.
When are ECGs Needed?
In some cases, it can be important to get this test. You should probably have an ECG if you have risk factors for an enlarged heart such as high blood pressure or symptoms of heart disease, such as chest pain, shortness of breath, an irregular heartbeat or heavy heartbeats. You may need the test for screening or occupational requirements, or if you have a personal or family history of heart disease, diabetes or other risks and you want to start exercising.
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How should you protect your heart?
These steps can help protect your heart, whether you have heart disease or just want to prevent it.
Lower your risks. The best ways to lower your risk of heart disease are to:
- Be aware of your risk factors.
- Be smoke-free.
- Be physically active.
- Know and control your blood pressure.
- Eat a healthy diet that is high in fibre, lower in fat, especially saturated and trans fats, lower in sodium, includes lots of fruit and vegetables, and includes portions of food that are in line with your level of physical activity.
- Achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
- Manage your diabetes.
- Limit alcohol use.
- Reduce stress.
- Visit your health care provider regularly and follow your health care provider’s advice.
- Know and control your blood cholesterol.