February is a month to celebrate the love in your heart, and the health of your heart. Each February, American Heart Month reminds us that each year more than 600,000 Americans die from heart disease, and we should use this time to focus on our own cardiovascular health. Do you know how to keep your heart healthy? This American Heart Month, take these tips and improve your wellbeing for a heart-healthy life!
Exercise and Reduce Stress
According to Prevent Heart Disease | cdc.gov, physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight and lower your blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood sugar levels. Stress is also proven to increase blood pressure. A life without stress might be impossible, but there are many ways we can reduce stress, like exercise and meditation. Needham Senior Center offers exercise classes like Tai Chi, Yoga, Zumba, and Meditation both in-person and virtually. Their exercise class roster can be found here: Let’s Exercise | City of Needham, MA (newtonma.gov). You can also check out Brookline’s most recent Council on Aging Newsletter to see their latest offerings. Make sure to consult your physician before participating in any physical activity.
According to Prevent Heart Disease | cdc.gov, eating foods high in saturated fat and trans fat may contribute to heart disease, and eating foods high in fiber and low in saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol can help prevent high cholesterol. Just a few simple swaps can make the difference in your cardiovascular health. Check with your physician regarding the best heart healthy diet for you.
Visit Your Doctor
Most doctors require annual checkups for insurance-purposes; however, if it’s been a while, celebrate this American Heart Month by scheduling an appointment with your doctor for lab work and a physical exam. Lab results can be an effective “peak behind the curtain” into your heart health and can help you target areas of your health for improvement.
Know Your Risks
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 47% of Americans have one or more of the three “key” risk factors for heart disease: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and tobacco smoking. Other common risk factors can be found here: Know Your Risk for Heart Disease | cdc.gov.
Know the Signs
For most, the first sign of heart disease is a serious event, like a heart attack or stroke. But there are some early signs of heart disease that are important to look out for before a serious event occurs, especially if you identify with one or more of the risk factors for heart disease. Some early signs of heart disease can be found here: About Heart Disease | cdc.gov. Signs and Symptoms of a Heart Attack can be found here: Heart Attack Symptoms, Risk, and Recovery | cdc.gov. Signs and Symptoms of a Stroke can be found here: Stroke Signs and Symptoms | cdc.gov.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these signs of a heart attack or stroke should be taken seriously, and if you notice these signs in yourself or someone else, call 9-1-1 immediately.
During this American Heart Month, take the time to ask yourself, what can I do to keep my heart healthy? And if you’re at risk for heart attack or stroke, do you have the emergency documents in place that can help you and your family in the case of an emergency? If not, Durable Powers of Attorney, HIPAA, and Health Care Proxies can provide peace of mind. Contact Lannik Law, LLC to schedule your free consultation today.