If you’re going to give your heart away this Valentine’s Day, make sure it’s healthy!

Many of us will be giving our hearts away in the tradition of Valentine's Day, but have you made sure that the heart you're giving is a healthy one?

NHS Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) want us to use this Valentine's Day to have a serious think about our hearts. Keeping your heart healthy is one of the most important things you can do, whatever your age.

Eating a healthy, balanced diet, being more physically active, reducing alcohol and giving up smoking are just some of the steps to take to keep your heart thumping.

Dr Steve Fawcett, local GP and Medical Director at the CCGs, said: "Anyone of any age can take steps to keep their heart healthy.

"You don't have to take big steps like joining a gym or radically changing your meals, instead focus on the little changes. Try a new fruit or vegetable, drink a little less alcohol, go a street further than usual when walking the dog or leave the car at home if it's a short journey.

"Keeping an eye on your weight and trying to manage your stress levels will also go a long way to help prevent heart disease.

"Our hearts are the most important muscle in our bodies, so we should all take steps to make sure we keep it going for as long as possible."

You can find out your heart age and steps to keep your heart healthy on the NHS Choices website: https://www.nhs.uk/tools/pages/heartage.aspx

There are certain symptoms you should watch out for too. Chest pains, dizziness, shortness of breath and tiredness could be signs that something may not be right with your heart. These symptoms along with noticeable palpitations, where your heart feels like it's pounding, fluttering or beating irregularly, could be signs of atrial fibrillation (AF).

It’s estimated that nearly 3 per cent of people in North Staffordshire and 2.3 per cent in Stoke-on-Trent could have AF, but many may not know it.

If you are concerned about any of these symptoms, call NHS111 for more advice. It’s a free call number and gives confidential health guidance and advice, 24/7, 365 days a year.