What is the thing you love the most? Mine is salad! Just kidding… well kinda ; )
The month of February is all about love with Valentine’s day falling in the middle. Hearts are already flooding the stores. But did you know February is also the month designated for heart health? You have probably heard the term heart disease thrown around before. You may feel that your habits are good enough and that it is something that happens to people that are doing the bare minimum, but it can happen to anyone. The more you know the better. Sadly, heart disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women. Heart disease kills someone in the US every 37 seconds. Not to be all doom and gloom here, but the fact is heart disease is as common as it is serious. Good news though! Many of the risk factors that lead to heart disease are within your direct control. If you take control of all of the modifiable risk factors and get in healthy ranges you can reduce your risk for heart disease by 80%!
Controllable Risk Factors
High body weight
Excessive alcohol consumption
High blood pressure
Diabetes* (Type 1 cannot be negated, but it can be managed to decrease risk. Type II can be negated through healthy diet, exercise and medications)
So maybe some of those stats scared you a little up there. Remember though, you are very much in control! Below are some steps you can take to do your best to minimize your chances of contracting heart disease.
Make it easy on yourself and pop into CHOP5 and create your own salad loaded with heart healthy vegetables and healthy fats (avocado & sunflower seeds).
2. Go to your primary care physician to get blood pressure and cholesterol numbers, if you don’t know where you stand. Yearly physicals are very important when it comes to being preventative.
3. Consider your family history since heredity does play a role (and is uncontrollable), but if you are aware you can monitor signs more closely.
4. Get moving! You need to be doing some form of cardiovascular exercise throughout the week (daily is best!). Try brisk walks, hilly hikes, jogs, swimming or cycling to get moving and get your blood flowing.
Learn the Warning Signs
5. Learn the warning signs of a heart attack or stroke. Movie scenes where people grasp their chest in pain and fall to the ground immediately are not reflective of what a heart attack looks like for everyone. In fact, women have some differences in the symptoms they experience. To learn more click here.
Think again about some things you love the most. In order to enjoy those things to the fullest, you have to be the best and healthiest you. This Valentine’s Day try planning a romantic hike, CHOP5 double date or maybe tell your main squeeze to skip out on getting you chocolates this year in an effort to keep your beating heart as healthy as possible. <3