Hearts and Minds

Any fitness fanatics that missed this summer’s London to Brighton bike ride need not worry, as there’s still a chance to sign up for September’s Canary Wharf Jog, a free (and unique!) way to share an evening with colleagues, friends or family.

Organised by the British Heart Foundation, the event helps raise money and awareness to tackle one of the five “big killers” that account for three quarters of all premature deaths. Someone dies from a heart attack every five minutes in the UK, and the NHS even provides a calculator to tell you when you might expect to be struck down.

But, in truth, no one can predict when the worst will happen. All you can do is live healthily to minimise the risk – maybe by taking up jogging – and prepare for when disaster does strike. We already know that as a nation we don’t exercise enough, but we’re also prone to bury our heads in the sand when it comes to making preparations.

Some people have limited life insurance tied to their mortgage, but it won’t usually leave any extra for living expenses, and three quarters have no cover at all to provide for those they leave behind. In fact, the average working family would run out of money in a fortnight if the main breadwinner died.

It doesn’t have to be complicated – or expensive – to get financial protection in place. So why don’t more people do it? Partly because they don’t think it will ever happen to them – or else they just keep putting it off. This September, though, when many people will be thinking about hearts, it’s also a good opportunity to use your head and think about providing for those you leave behind.