Did you know that Heart Disease is the #1 killer of both men and women? About 600,000 people die from heart disease each year. THIS AMMOUNTS TO 1 IN EVERY 4 DEATHS IN THE UNITED STATES. According to the CDC approximately 715,000 American will have heart attacks this year as well. The CDC also reports that the United States spends about $312.6 BILLION on heart disease related medical services each year.
The good news is that heart disease is preventable and controllable.
February is considered to be national heart disease awareness month.
- Heart Healthy Diet - Check out your food labels. Try to limit fats, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, salt and sodium. Eat as much fresh foods as possible including fruits and vegetables.
- Exercise your Heart – It is healthy for our heart to be exercised like any other muscle in the body. We do this though cardiovascular exercise such as; walking, running, biking, swimming etc. The Surgeon General recommends that adults should engage in moderate physical activity for 30 minutes on most days of the week.
- Maintain a Heart Healthy Weight - Your weight can play a significant role in weather you are at risk for heart disease. Most doctors use Body Mass Index to determine if you are in a healthy range.
- Cut out Cigarettes – Cigarette smoking is also a huge contributor to Heart Disease. The sooner you quit the sooner your heart can begin to recover from tobacco usage.
- Have regular Blood Pressure & Cholesterol Checks – Being high in one or both of these categories is going to put extra stress on the heart that could potentially lead to heart disease. It is good to have both of these levels checked yearly. Depending on your doctor’s recommendations, age, or health history, you may want to consider having them checked more regularly.
- Limit Alcohol Consumption – Drinking regularly can increase blood pressure which is a large factor in developing heart disease. It is recommended that men should have no more than 2 drinks per day and women 1 drink per day.
- Manage your Medications - Make sure you follow your doctor’s instructions carefully when taking medications that control high blood pressure, high cholesterol, blood sugar, and diabetes. It is never safe to mess with dosages or any of the guidelines recommend by your physician.