Heart Month: Healthful tips you can take to heart
SAN DIEGO, February 1, 2022–February is American Heart Month is the perfect time to love your heart!
According to the CDC, almost half of Americans have one of the three factors that put them at risk for heart disease.
Tips to keep your ticker ticking
The top three risk factors for heart disease are high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking, and millions of Americans suffer from high blood pressure.
A healthy lifestyle is key to heart health
Part of the U.S. Department of Health, and Human Services (HHS), the Office of Disease Prevention offers these suggestions that can help you and your family live a heart-healthy lifestyle:
Eliminate salt in the diet by using salt substitutes such as spices
Encourage physical activity at home and during school
Keep weight at a normal level
Control cholesterol and blood pressure
Consume alcohol in moderation
Eating healthy and avoiding bad habits
Consuming foods that are low in fat and cholesterol, while focusing on consuming fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains could go a long way toward reducing an individual’s blood pressure and maintaining a healthy heart.
Smoking cessation is another key factor in maintaining an individual’s heart health. Even for long-time smokers, cutting out tobacco consumption has been clearly demonstrated to reduce the risk of disease as well as the risk for heart attacks.
In addition, monitoring blood pressure routinely throughout the year while under the supervision of a healthcare professional is extremely important in maintaining heart health.
Normally, your family doctor or cardiologist will begin by establishing a baseline blood pressure reading.
From that point, your physician will follow up with periodic monitoring, to measure the effects of any progress you’ve made by adopting a heart-healthy lifestyle.
On the downside, there are very real and personal costs for refusing to pay attention to heart health. Individuals that ignore heart health will almost certainly undermine their chances to enjoy long-term health and a better quality of life.
Heart attack warning signs
“A heart attack feels like a hand squeezing your heart….it’s like the worst Charley Horse you can imagine-in your heart,” lamented a long-term smoker named Roosevelt in an article published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The American Heart Association offers warning signs for the onset of a heart attack. Anyone experiencing these signs should seek medical attention immediately.
Discomfort in the area of the heart or other areas of the upper body
Shortness of breath
Other signs, such as nausea and sweating
It is important to note that any warning sign or a combination thereof could last just a few minutes before disappearing. Warning signs can also come and go or could manifest as pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
Oftentimes, heart attack symptoms experienced by women can be quite different than those experienced by men. (Heart Attack Symptoms in Women)
Overall, however, the best way to maintain heart health is to be proactive and to practice consistent and positive prevention measures.
Especially during times of COVID, valuing others from the heart is foremost for many, as those closest and dearest become even more relevant.
Until next time enjoy the ride in good health!
(Main image: Thanks to Philippe Gauthier @phil_gauthier for making this photo available freely on Unsplash 🎁
(Main image: Thanks to DESIGNECOLOGIST @designecologist for making this photo available freely on Unsplash 🎁