February Is American Heart Month

First celebrated in February 1964, American Heart Month aims to spread awareness about cardiovascular diseases to mitigate their devastating impact on the American people. In this article, we are going to provide you with information correlating to heart disease along with some effective measures you can take to promote a healthy heart.

Heart Disease Statistics and Facts

Coronary heart disease, the most common type of heart disease, affects around 7% of adults within the US. Myocardial infarctions, known as heart attacks, happen to over 750,000 Americans every year. Sadly, around 25% of deaths in the US are caused by a heart disease.

Boosting Your Heart Health

Heart disease is a leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women. But you can do a lot to protect your heart and stay healthy.

Heart-healthy living involves understanding your risk, making choices, and taking steps to reduce your chances of getting heart disease, including coronary heart disease, the most common type. Coronary and other types of heart disease cause heart attacks, but by taking preventive measures, you can lower your risk of developing heart disease and also improve your overall health and well-being.

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)

woman holding heart shaped balloon in front of her face

How Can I Decrease My Risk for Heart Disease?

There are many different ways to reduce your risk for heart disease while giving a boost to your physical wellness. One of the most effective ways to do this is by eating healthy foods like fruits and vegetables and avoiding foods and drinks with added sugars and trans fats. Below, we are going to present you with some important information regarding two other proven ways to prevent heart disease, stress management and exercise.

female meditating on beach during a sunset

Stress Management

Research suggests that an emotionally upsetting event, particularly one involving anger, can serve as a trigger for a heart attack or angina in some people. Stress can contribute to high blood pressure and other heart disease risk factors. Some of the ways people cope with stress—drinking alcohol, using other substances, smoking, or overeating—are not healthy ways to manage stress.

Learning how to manage stress and cope with problems can improve your mental and physical health. Consider healthy stress-reducing activities such as:

 

  • Talking to a professional counselor
  • Participating in a stress management program
  • Practicing meditation
  • Being physically active
  • Trying relaxation techniques
  • Talking with friends, family, and community or religious support systems

NHLBI

Getting Regular Exercise

Regular physical activity can:

 

  • Help you lose excess weight
  • Improve physical fitness
  • Lower many heart disease risk factors such as “bad” LDL cholesterol levels, increase “good” HDL cholesterol levels, and manage high blood pressure
  • Lower stress and improve your mental health
  • Lower your risk for other conditions such as type 2 diabetes, depression, and cancer

NHLBI

senior female lifting weights with personal trainer

A Heart-Healthy Lifestyle

Whether we are aware of it or not, every day we make decisions that can impact our heart health. Simple choices such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or swapping the box of cookies in your shopping cart for some fresh fruit can make a big difference in the long-run.

 
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