February is not just a time to focus on valentines and love! It is also American Heart Month to highlight the importance of the ongoing fight against cardiovascular disease. Did you know that someone dies of the disease every 40 seconds in our country?
With heart disease being the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, it is important to manage your heart’s health. There are many steps to take to ensure your heart remains strong and healthy, many of which can be started at an early age. Here are a few habits to adopt!
-Adding exercise to your daily routine (at least 30 minutes per day). Aerobic exercises are best for heart health!
-Adding heart-healthy foods into your diet. Heart-healthy foods include avocados, leafy greens, whole grains, walnuts, beans, dark chocolate, and more. Cutting out sodium can also be a wonderful place to start. Try replacing sodium with other herbs and spices to enhance the flavor.
-Quitting smoking. Although the damage caused by smoking can sometimes be irreversible, your body can quickly become healthier with smoking cessation. In just one year, the risk for coronary artery disease diminishes to half of that of a smoker. Within five to 15 years, stroke risk is reduced to that of a non-smoker.
-Not drinking alcohol or doing so in moderation. Studies have shown, people who drank a moderate amount of alcohol (2 or fewer drinks per day) had a 20% lower risk of dying from heart disease.
-Sleeping for an average of seven to eight hours per night. This can increase the health of your arteries.
-Keep your teeth clean. Gum disease is caused by the same risk factors as heart disease and bacteria found in gum disease can move into the body, affect the heart, and increase the risk of heart disease.
-Sitting for too long. No matter how much exercise you do, sitting for too long has huge effects on your health. Out of 800,000 people who were studied, there is a 147% increase in cardiovascular diseases and a 90% increased chance of death for people who sit for extended periods of time.
-See your doctor for a heart check. Anyone over the age of 45 is recommended to get their heart checked by a doctor every few years to be sure it is in top performance and assess anything that could be a risk factor later down the road.
Heart disease is a detrimental illness that affects millions of people worldwide. Half of all American adults are affected by heart disease, so it is important to know ways to prevent it. By following these recommendations, you can decrease your risk of heart disease and keep your heart healthy.
Advanced Home Health is a local, family-owned, home health and home care provider located in Western PA, servicing Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Lawrence, and Washington Counties.