If you feel like your heart is making a weird pitter-patter or skipping
a beat this Valentine’s Day, you may have been struck by Cupid’s
arrow—or it may also be time to get your heart health in check.
Along with Valentine’s, February is also American Heart Month, the
perfect time to raise awareness about the importance of taking good care
of our heart.
As the center of your cardiovascular system, the heart is probably the
most hardworking muscle in the body. It is primarily responsible for just
about everything that gives your body life. However, what you eat and
the amount of activity you do every day can significantly affect the overall
health of your heart. In the United States alone, there are about 27.6
million adults who are diagnosed with heart disease, making it the leading
cause of death in the country.
What You Can Do for Your Heart
The good news is heart disease can be prevented with a few healthy lifestyle
choices and managing your health condition.
Here are some small changes you can make for your heart this month:
Add exercise to your everyday routine- A full 30-minute of physical activity each day can go a long way for
your heart health. Start by taking leisure walks throughout the day. You
can break it up with a 10-minute walk, 3 times a day or a 15-minute walk,
twice a day. Gradually increase the intensity by adding cardio variation
or some lifting.
Choose a healthy diet- Limit your intake of foods that are high in saturated or trans fat such
as fast food and processed food. Instead, choose food items that are low
in fat and packed with fiber and Omega-3 fatty acids. You may also want
to increase fruit and vegetable intake.
Kick your smoking habit- Smoking can damage the lining of your arteries, increasing your risk
of heart attack or a stroke. Take steps to quit smoking, whether by yourself
or through a support group. This can benefit not only your heart but your
overall health as well.
Schedule a visit with your doctor- Get regular check-ups with your doctor even if you are not feeling sick.
Ask about ways of improving your heart health, especially if you have
a medical history of heart disease. Your doctor can give you plenty of
advice and may even avoid future health roadblocks.
Make February a truly happy hearts’ day by taking these simple steps
towards a healthy heart and encouraging your family, your friends, and
even your whole community to commit to a healthy lifestyle.
This article contains general information about medical conditions and
treatments. The information is not advice and should not be treated as
such. The information is not intended to replace the advice or diagnosis
of a physician.
If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should
consult your doctor or other professional healthcare providers.