February is recognized as American Heart Month with great reason. Heart disease is the number one cause of death, not just in the United States, but all over the world. The CDC reports that in 2018, 30.3 million people were diagnosed with heart disease, which accounts for a staggering 12.1% of adults. There are great advances in research and study that shows there are plenty of things WE can do to help improve the quality of our heart health. From the foods we eat to the activities we take part in, from reversing bad habits to reducing our stress, we can be proactive in our own heart health journey.
It’s no secret that our heart is a muscle and, just like all the muscles in our bodies, we have to keep it moving to strengthen it and increase its longevity. Know you need to be moving and exercising more but not really sure where to start? Think about these suggestions:
I know, one more thing telling you how important it is to eat healthy foods. Thetruth of it is so very important. The foods we put into our bodies can mean the difference in a healthy life, or a hard one riddled with disease and numerous health conditions. It couldn't be more important!
When you hear medical experts say stress is bad for you, take them seriously! Stress affects your body in many ways, try 1,400 biochemical response ways, and they aren’t good. Stress can cause the following:
You know you better than anyone. You know the things that calm you down, that bring you peace and joy, and that set your focus on good things and gratitude. Find your “happy places” and make time to enjoy life and do the things that bring you joy and peace. We all know ways to reduce our stress, we just have to make ourselves do them!
Cholesterol is a fat-like, waxy substance that is found in the cells of your body. Some cholesterol is necessary because it helps create hormones, vitamin D and and the other compounds that help your body properly digest foods. There are two types of cholesterol:
Having too much LDL cholesterol and not enough HDL cholesterol can lead to high cholesterol which can cause heart disease. There are many prescription drugs on the market today that help fight the bad cholesterol for those diagnosed with high cholesterol numbers needing medical help.. Your doctor is the best source to find out your cholesterol levels and to counsel you for the best way to prevent and combat the issue of high cholesterol in your heart health journey.
High Blood Pressure
A common problem, high blood pressure (also known as hypertension) is the strong force of your blood pushing against the walls of your blood vessels in a rapid manner. Blood pressure itself is measured by 2 forces:
High blood pressure is a leading cause of heart issues and can cause numerous, serious medical conditions:
It’s imperative that you have regular checkups so your doctor can monitor your blood pressure, and you can be proactive by keeping a close eye on your own blood pressure. You can purchase your own blood pressure monitor to use at home or take advantage of the blood pressure monitors at your local pharmacy or grocery store.
Ways You Can Help
Some heart health issues are hereditary and come from family history and some conditions develop before or after birth. Some heart health issues come from bad lifestyle choices. There are ways that you can help lower your risk of heart disease. We’ve talked about eating healthy, exercise, and reducing stress. Some other helpful things you can do to improve your heart health are:
Choose The Healthy Journey
Think of your body like a car, your heart is the engine. The car has to function property for you to be able to drive it somewhere. Bad engine - you aren’t going far. Strong engine, properly maintained and taken care of, your travel possibilities are endless!! You always want to be a careful cautious driver on the road, be that driver in control of your heart and health!
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