We have to keep our tickers ticking. February is heart health month, and when it comes to your heart, lifestyle is everything! Unfortunately, the statistics about heart health in our country are very jarring. Many people suffer from heart attacks and cardiovascular disease, which has a profound impact on their everyday life and whole health.
Studies from the CDC show that in the United States:
- one person dies every 34 seconds from cardiovascular disease
- one person has a heart attack every 40 seconds
- about 1 in 5 heart attacks are “silent”, meaning that the person is unaware of its occurrence
It is important to begin thinking about your heart health now to ensure adequate preparation for the future. Starting to live a healthy lifestyle is crucial, but it can be hard to know where to start.
Implementing Happy, Healthy Heart Habits
While you might think maintaining your overall health is all you need to do, there are specific ways to help your heart stay healthy and keep on ticking. Even though February is heart health month, it is important to build these habits so you can stay healthy all year round.
- Have a Heart-Healthy Diet – Add fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products to your diet. Subtract salt, saturated fat, and sugar whenever possible.
- Get Moving – It’s recommended you have at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week, plus muscle-strengthening activity at least 2 days a week.
- Stop Smoking – Even one less day of smoking can improve your heart health. To quit altogether is the best way to give your heart a fighting chance.
- Take Heart Medicines – If you’ve been prescribed meds for high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or diabetes, you need to follow the instructions carefully. Ask questions if you don’t understand when and what medicines to take.
- Watch What You Drink – Trade out water for sugary drinks to reduce calories. Moderate your alcohol intake to no more than one drink a day for women and two a day for men.
- Know Your Health History – Doctors can tell a lot about risks to your heart from family history. Take time to figure out if there is a history of heart disease in your family tree.
It is crucial to maintain regular visits to your primary care physician to monitor your heart health. If you are concerned about your heart health, schedule an appointment to visit with your physician and click this link to read more.