February might be well-known as the month of love, but it is considered American Heart Month as well. It is the perfect timing to learn what heart disease is and how you can prevent it. Heart disease is a serious and dangerous condition, which takes the lives of many people every day. As the leading cause of death for men and woman in the United States, heart disease can happen at any age. And high rates of blood pressure, obesity, and high blood cholesterol can put you at risk for getting heart disease earlier in your life. Generic factors play an essential role in the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases, but heart disease may be prevented if you take the steps to keep your heart healthy. So, it is time you show some love to yourself, and embrace the following easy heart health tips.
American Heart Month Heart Health Tips
If you smoke, stopping is certainly the best thing you can ever do not just for the prevention of heart disease, but your overall health. Smoking is one of the main causes of cardiovascular disease. Smoking cigarettes remains one of the most preventable causes of heart disease. When you smoke, your arteries tighten, which makes your heart work harder. Smoking also can trigger an irregular heart rhythm and raise blood pressure, which are leading causes of stroke. This is why we are mentioning this at the top of this list of heart health tips. There is no doubt quitting is not easy at all, but with the right support and attitude it is achievable.
Know Your Numbers
If you want to have a healthy heart, you must pay attention to certain numbers regarding your body. It is necessary to maintain normal blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, and weight. Work with a physician to learn your numbers and which you need to improve. Your blood pressure should be no higher than 120/80 mmHg. Ideally, your LDL cholesterol level should be no higher than 100 mg/dL and certainly less than 130 mg/dL. A healthy BMI is generally considered between 18.5 and 24.9. Lastly, your blood glucose levels should be less than 100 mg/dL after fasting. Use these numbers as a general guideline, but speak with your doctor to learn what is healthy for you. Another important thing is to get tested for diabetes, as it can lead to cardiovascular disease and complications if not treated on time.
Improve Your Physical Activity
Physical activity is vital for your physical and mental health in general. According to the American Heart Association, you should have five exercise sessions for 30 minutes every week. If it seems daunting, you can break them up into more 10-minute segments, there is no problem. Great exercise forms include walking, biking, swimming, jogging, whatever you prefer. Becoming more active is one of the more important heart health tips to help prevent heart disease.
If you are hoping for a healthy heart, you must remember heart-smart foods are quite important. You should include in your menu nuts, salmon, berries, oats as they are heart ‘superfoods’ and protect you from atherosclerosis. Luckily, sweet lovers can consume their favorite dark chocolate and still have a healthy heart. Of course, you should limit junk food, because it has a pretty negative impact on your health and well-being.
Nowadays, life is often very stressful, but learning strategies to reduce and manage stress is one of the most important heart health tips. Stress increases your cortisol levels, and it is a key reason for getting heart disease. It can also result in other bad habits, which make it hard to have a healthy lifestyle. Except for heart disease, stress is the main reason for anxiety, depression and other mental conditions. You should practice positive self-talk and try to avoid stressful situations.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleeping is what helps us decrease stress, restore our bodies and increase happiness. If you want to be healthy, you should sleep at least seven hours every night. You should try to determine a calming bedtime routine and improve your sleep quality. During American Heart Month, get your sleep schedule back on track.
It is true, happy hearts are healthy hearts. That is why you should focus on pleasant activities and hobbies. In this way, you can relieve stress, improve your mood, and protect your heart. When you smile more, you are relaxed and your immune system starts functioning more effectively. Moreover, you release endorphins, which trigger happy feelings and lower high blood pressure and stress levels.
Heart Health Tips: Find a Doctor That Has Time For You
Heart disease is not to be underestimated. Do not let it destroy your health or affect someone you know. In the American Heart Month and the month of love, you should try to follow such heart health tips to protect yourself and the people you love. Good doctors can give you valuable advice on how to keep your heart healthy, so make sure you find one that has time for you. A good physician, like the ones at Dedication Health, offers more than just reactive care. In addition to primary care, our physicians put a strong focus on preventive health and wellness. To join Dedication Health, a concierge medical practice and coumadian clinic near Chicago, give us a call today. You can reach our practice at (847) 986-6770 or by requesting more information online.
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