Currently, there are around 11 million people in Nigeria living with heart and circulatory diseases and 1 in 2 of us will experience a heart or circulatory condition during our lifetime. 

However, making small changes to your daily routine can make a big difference to your heart health, which in the long term could help reduce your risk of heart and circulatory related conditions such as diabetes, stroke, vascular dementia orheart disease.

Here are some of the ways which you can improve your heart health and support us during Heart Month:


    Keep track of your numbers

If you’re concerned about your blood pressure, speak to your physician or a pharmacist. You can normally get it checked at your clinic or local pharmacy. Having high blood pressure means you’re at an increased risk of having a heart attack or a stroke, so it's really important that you know your numbers.

Around 30-40 % of adults in Nigeria have high blood pressure, which can be caused by unhealthy habits. Being overweight, drinking too much alcohol and not doing enough exercise are all examples of factors which can increase your risk of getting high blood pressure.

There’s great utility in having blood pressure measuring equipment at home and /or on your electronic devices and actually using them.

    Get moving

Whatever your age or ability, exercising can help to improve your general wellbeing. In fact, regular physical activity can help to reduce the risk of developing heart and circulatory disease by up to 35 per cent. Just taking 20 to 30 minutes from your day to exercise, whether that is going for a run or a walk, can help make such a difference to yourheart.

This year, While not all of us are ready to run a marathon why not take inspiration from those running it and put our lovely bodies to the test with hikes, cross country walks , exercise retreats and join online workout platforms like Fitbit,Nike,Thenx and add pedometers to our electronic devices.

   Eat healthy

A healthy and balanced diet can help to reduce your risk of heart and circulatory diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure and can help you to maintain a healthy weight. It can also help to lower your cholesterol levels.

Even if you already have a heart condition, eating healthily can still be of benefit to your heart health. Try to eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, nuts, seeds, pulses and wholegrain varieties of bread, rice and pasta. You should also look to choose options that are lower in saturated fat, salt and sugar where you can.

If you need some tasty recipes to get you started, check out our other online blogs which has plenty of delicious options.

   Take on the SandMan challenge

Sign up to take on our SandMan challenge this March. Challenge yourself, your family, or your friends to give up chocolate, cake and biscuits, or all three, for 31 days, to help raise awareness and possibly funds for heart disease and lifestyle modification.

The awareness and funds that you help raise from the SandMan challenge will help channel research into conditions such as heart attack, stroke and vascular dementia.

   Become a Sands lifesaver

The survival rate for out of hospital cardiac arrests in Nigeria is at best dismal and every minute without CPR or defibrillation can reduce the chances of survival by up to 10 per cent. You can learn how to save a life by performing CPR in just 15 minutes.

If you’re experienced in CPR why not help to train others including friends, family and work colleagues. Training more people in life saving skills such as CPR, defibrillator awareness and the recovery position will help to create a nation of life savers, meaning that in an emergency, you’ll know what to do.

There will be a FirstAid/BLS online course coming soon on our webapp and the mobile app when it is fully functional – it could end up saving a life.

    Be kind to yourself

Stress alone won’t cause heart and circulatory diseases, but it can lead to unhealthy habits that may increase your risk. Making sure you get plenty of rest, eat a healthy balanced diet, exercise regularly and keep in touch with friends and family for support can really help improve your wellbeing.

It’s important to understand that it’s normal and okay to feel stressed at times and there is support out there if you need it. If you need additional information on understanding stress and how it affects the heart we will be post blog worthy, informative articles on the subject in your Sandsclinic web app.

   Help others living/coping with heart disease

There are many ways that you can help those living with heart and circulatory diseases. By becoming a volunteer - whether privately, for a good cause – or by supporting at an event - you’ll be playing a crucial role in helping those living with cardiac or circulatory disease and raising awareness +/- research .

Volunteering can also help you stay physically active and do wonders for your sense of wellbeing. Infact, surveys found, nearly 7 in 10 (68%) respondents stated that volunteering has improved their mental health. It’s also a great way to meet new people and become part of a team.


Lets keep our hearts in safe hands, here and beyond the sands.

Michael Odigwe MRCS(Eng) SandsClinic .