February is American Heart Month

February is American Heart Month

When February rolls around it’s not unusual to see pink and red hearts decorating storefronts. However, Valentine’s Day isn’t the only reason to celebrate the heart this month. Keep that iconic muscle pumping by raising awareness this American Heart Month!

The Heartbreak of Cardiovascular Disease

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) over 600,000 people die from heart disease per year in the United States alone. That amounts to one person every 37 seconds. Despite an increase in awareness over the past couple decades, cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death in men and women.

In addition to the devastating loss of life, heart disease is estimated to cost the United States hundreds of billions of dollars each year. It should come as no surprise that promoting heart health and spreading awareness should be a top priority.

Give Your Heart Some Love

So what are some ways you can stay heart healthy? According to an article on Healthline, here are a few rules to live by:

  • Lose weight. Carrying extra weight, especially around the middle, has been proven to take a toll on the cardiovascular system in particular. If you are overweight, speak to your doctor about developing a diet program. Avoiding foods high in sugar and saturated fats is a good start!
  • Quit smoking. According to the CDC, one in three deaths from cardiovascular disease is caused by smoking. Smoking raises your triglycerides and can also make blood more sticky, causing it to clot.   
  • Avoid salt. Sodium causes your blood vessels to absorb water, resulting in blood that has a significantly higher volume. Higher-volume blood means high blood pressure, which can lead to a heart attack.
  • Exercise. The Surgeon General suggests 2.5 hours of moderate to intense physical activity per week. Working out lowers blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar. 
  • Pick up a relaxing hobby. Keeping your hands busy with activities such as knitting, origami, or jigsaw puzzles can help your mind unwind and lower your stress levels. Lower stress can lower blood pressure. 

In addition to taking these healthy steps, be aware of any existing conditions that may raise your risk of heart disease, such as diabetes. As always, talk to your doctor before beginning a new diet or exercise plan. 

Heart to Heart

Continue to educate yourself and spread awareness this February! Share the love by talking to friends and family about the risk of heart disease and ways to prevent it. Consider donating to the American Heart Association, or even volunteer your time. Take care of your heart and see it beat for many more Valentine’s Days to come.

Disclaimer: The materials contained on this website are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal or other professional advice on any subject matter. Advanced Medical Practice Management does not accept any responsibility for any loss which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site.