It’s no wonder why February is designated American Heart Month. You just need to look around your local grocery store to catch glimpses of all things pink, red, glitter, and Cupid. Hearts are an important part of our culture, our relationship talk, and our bodies. The American Heart Association states that approximately 1 in every 3 deaths in the United States is due to cardiovascular disease. However, even with serious statistics about heart disease and chocolate hearts in the grocery store line, we simply do not talk about heart health enough.
Heart health is important at every age, and you can improve your heart health no matter how old (or young) you are. Here are a few ways you can commit to giving your heart the attention it deserves.
Exercise is more than just a way to lose a few pounds. Healthy activity can reduce your chances of heart conditions, and every little bit helps. Find a friend, or a CaringGivers team member, who will encourage you to get up and moving. You can find senior-friendly exercise groups in local park districts or fitness centers, commit to a daily stroll around your neighborhood, or even start with simply walking around your home more. A sedentary lifestyle is boring and unhealthy, so get moving!
Talk to Your Doctor
You should already be meeting with your physician at least annually for wellness checks. Assure you are bringing up any heart health-related questions up during these visits, and that your doctor prescribes any diagnostic tests that could help you understand your risk of heart attack or stroke. Once you know your risk factors, you can work with your doctor to develop a prevention plan.
Heart health begins at the dinner table, as a poor diet can quickly lead to chronic cardiovascular conditions. Focus on adding more fruits, vegetables, and fiber to your diet as you avoid extra sodium, saturated fats, or transfats. Concerned you don’t have the energy or stamina to cook more whole foods? The team at CaringGivers can provide assistance with grocery shopping and meal preparation so that healthy eating does not seem unattainable.
Know the Signs
Finally, be sure you know the signs of a stroke or heart attack. Shortness of breath and chest discomfort are often recognized quickly, but signs of heart attack can vary from men to women, with women noting nausea and jaw pain prior to an event. Signs of a stroke could include facial drooping, speech difficulty, and extreme headache.
We want to support you as you make a healthy change that will impact your heart. Give us a call to talk more about your challenges, and we can work to develop a plan tailormade for you.