The Heart of the Matter: Are you making the right choices?
During the international month of love, make sure you give your own heart some affection. American Heart Month, a federally designated event, is an ideal time to remind Americans to focus on their hearts and encourage them to get their families, friends, and communities involved.
We all know someone affected by heart disease and stroke, because about 2,300 Americans die of cardiovascular disease each day, an average of one death every 38 seconds. Heart disease claims the lives of about one woman every 80 seconds unnecessarily -- because about 80 percent of cardiovascular diseases may be preventable with education and action.
The biggest part of living healthy comes down to simply making healthy choices. While you can’t change things like age and family history, the good news is that even modest changes to your diet and lifestyle can improve your heart health and lower your risk by as much as 80 percent.
Talk to Your Doctor
It’s important to schedule regular check-ups even if you think you are not sick. Discuss your heart health and don’t be afraid to ask questions! Doctors deal with heart disease every day – they will help you get on a better path to maintaining better heart health.
Your body needs exercise, but you don’t need to be a body-builder. Whether it’s a daily walk at lunch or a Zumba class after work, make sure you are getting at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. Cardio is important!
Heart health begins at home. Look at the food you are preparing for your family’s meals, as sodium hides in a lot of foods. Foods high in fat are also culprits in heart disease.
If you currently smoke, quitting can cut your risk for heart disease and stroke. There are many free support groups online, and most pharmacies will have smoking secession aids readily available.
Take Medication as Prescribed
Talk with your doctor about the importance of high blood pressure and cholesterol medications. If you’re having trouble taking your medicines on time, Medicine-On-Time helps millions of patients remain adherent on their medication. Our compliance packaging makes it easy to remember to take those daily medications!
Taking the above steps can really make a difference in your heart health. In a concerning new trend, younger adults are now at risk. National trends show heart disease death rates are declining more slowly than they have in the past, especially among adults ages 35 to 64. Not only are more younger adults dying of heart disease, but their rates of risk factors—such as physical inactivity, tobacco use, and hypertension—are also increasing.
No one is immune to heart disease, but we can all work together to reduce overall risk. Encourage your friends and family to monitor their eating habits, physical activity, and medication adherence. Every little step makes a huge difference!