Health & Wellness

FEBRUARY: AMERICAN HEART MONTH

2.03.21

 

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women. However, there are many things one can do to improve their heart health.

Heart-healthy living involves understanding your risk, making choices, and taking steps to reduce your chances of getting heart disease, including coronary heart disease, the most common type. Coronary and other types of heart disease cause heart attacks, but by taking preventive measures, you can lower your risk of developing heart disease and also improve your overall health and well-being.

UNDERSTANDING YOUR RISKS: Risk factors are conditions or habits that make a person more likely to develop a disease. These risk factors may be different for each person. Preventing heart disease starts with examining your family history and personal health and understanding what your risk factors are and what you can do to lower them.

CHOOSE HEART-HEALTHY FOODS: Heart-healthy eating involves choosing certain foods, such as fruits and vegetables, while limiting others, such as saturated and trans fats and added sugars.

LEARNING HOW TO HANDLE STRESS: Research suggests that an emotionally upsetting event, particularly one involving anger, can serve as a trigger for a heart attack or angina in some people. Stress can contribute to high blood pressure and other heart disease risk factors. Steps to manage stress can include talking to a professional counselor, meditation, being physically active, getting adequate sleep, and reaching out to friends and family for support.

GET ADEQUATE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY: In addition to lowering stress, getting enough exercise allows for several other benefits such as reducing overall body weight, improving physical fitness, improving ‘bad’ cholesterol levels and increasing ‘good’ cholesterol levels, managing high blood pressure, warding off depression and anxiety, etc.

GETTING ENOUGH SLEEP: Sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being throughout your life. During sleep, your body is working to support healthy brain function and maintain your physical health. Not getting enough sleep or good-quality sleep over time can raise your risk for chronic health problems.