February is American Heart Month
This month, Physicians Premier, your Corpus Christi ER, celebrates American Heart Month. This is an ideal time to remind families to raise awareness about cardiovascular disease, adopt a heart-healthy lifestyle, and urge their families and friends to reduce their risk factors to prevent heart disease.
Heart disease remains the leading killer of Americans worldwide, affecting more people than all forms of cancer combined. There are a lot of ways to spread messages about cardiovascular health. Learn more about how you can actively help in increasing heart health awareness from this fact sheet from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (1).
There are specific risk factors for cardiovascular disease – like family history and age – which cannot be altered. Here’s a list of non-modifiable risk factors of heart disease from the World Heart Foundation (2):
- Family history
But there is good news: a healthy heart is within your control. You can lessen some risk factors for heart ailments by making the right lifestyle changes. And remember, everything that you do that is good for your heart will give your overall health a boost!
1. Manage stress
Numerous studies reveal that any form of stress can be a trigger for angina or heart attack. Stress causes strain on the heart and can keep you from performing and feeling your best.
Stress can also increase your risk factors for stroke and heart attack. Those who are under stress may start smoking or binge on sweets. Hence, we recommend mild to moderate exercise for people who are under stress. Stress triggers the release of the endorphin hormone, which has been proven to bring out feelings of general well-being.
Being physically active and setting aside time for exercise can lower cholesterol and blood pressure, helping keep your weight at a healthy level. Make this a priority in your heart-healthy plan. The American Heart Association recommends physical activity for at least 30 minutes per day.
Having a fitness buddy may help you stick to your exercise goals. Enlist a friend to accompany you in your afternoon walk or jog – it may be just what you need to keep your commitment to stay active!
3. Eat a healthy diet
Good nutrition is your best weapon in fighting heart disease. The quality and quantity of food you consume everyday can affect other risk factors like diabetes, blood pressure, weight, and cholesterol.
Add a rainbow of vegetables and fruits in your diet, as well as lean protein and whole grains.
Regardless of where you are in terms of heart health, your commitment to get healthy, one step at a time will surely protect your cardiovascular health. Simple steps can go a long way: write a healthy grocery list, call your fitness buddy, and get a physical exam done to make sure that your heart is healthy and fit.
If you need more tips on how to embrace a heart-healthy lifestyle, feel free to get in touch with us at Physicians Premier, your Corpus Christi ER.
(1) “25 Ways To Take Part in Heart Month.” National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/all-publications-and-resources/25-ways-take-part-heart-month.
(2) “Risk factors.” World Heart Federation, https://www.world-heart-federation.org/resources/risk-factors/.
(3) “Heart-Healthy Lifestyle Changes.” National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/heart-healthy-lifestyle-changes.