February is best known for Valentine’s Day, but did you know it is also American Heart Health Month? This month is dedicated to raising awareness about heart health and educating people on how to prevent heart disease, especially since our risk of developing heart disease increases with age.
16.3 million Americans aged 20 and older have been diagnosed with heart disease. This includes conditions such as heart attacks, strokes, and heart failure. The good news is that there are many steps we can take to improve our heart health and reduce our risk of developing these conditions, and our team at Sunscape™ Boca Raton is exploring these steps.
Understand Your Risk Factors
Understanding your personal risk factors is one of the first steps to promoting heart health. These include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, smoking, and physical inactivity. If you have any of these risk factors, it is important to work with your doctor to manage them.
In addition to managing risk factors, there are also lifestyle changes that can greatly improve heart health. These include eating a healthy diet, being physically active, maintaining a healthy weight, and not smoking.
Maintain a Heart-Healthy Diet
A heart-healthy diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. It is important to limit saturated and trans fats, added sugars, and sodium. This can help lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart disease.
Stay Physically Active
Being physically active is also crucial for maintaining heart health. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily, such as brisk walking or cycling. This can help improve heart function, lower blood pressure, and cholesterol levels, and maintain a healthy weight. It is also essential to find exercises you enjoy so that you are more likely to stick with them.
Sustain a Healthy Weight
Maintaining a healthy weight is another key factor in promoting heart health. Excess weight puts strain on the heart and can increase the risk of heart disease. By eating a healthy diet and being physically active, you can maintain a healthy weight and reduce your risk of developing heart disease.
Smoking is one of the top risk factors for heart disease and can lead to many other health problems. If you currently smoke, talk to your doctor about ways to quit. There are many resources available to help you kick the habit for good.
Get Quality Sleep
The American Heart Association states, “Getting enough quality sleep is an essential component of good health and brain health.” Quality sleep promotes heart health by giving your body time to rest and repair. In fact, poor sleep can lead to major cardiovascular disease risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity.
Additionally, managing stress is also crucial as chronic stress can increase blood pressure and strain on the heart. Find healthy ways to cope with stress, such as practicing relaxation techniques or engaging in enjoyable hobbies.
Check-In with Your Physician
Another important aspect of heart health is regularly checking in with your doctor. This includes getting annual check-ups and keeping up with necessary screenings or tests. Your doctor can help monitor your risk factors and guide you on improving your heart health.
In addition to caring for your heart, it is also important to spread awareness to those around you. Encourage your family members to prioritize their heart health and make positive changes in their lives. You can also get involved in community events and programs that promote heart health and raise awareness about the importance of preventing heart disease.
Remember, taking care of our hearts is a lifelong journey. By making small but impactful changes in our lifestyles, we can greatly improve our heart health and reduce the risk of heart disease. Let’s use American Heart Health Month as a reminder to prioritize our hearts and work toward living a healthier life. Your heart is worth it.
Our Boca Raton senior living community can help you get on track with your wellness and create a vibrant, healthy lifestyle. From engaging signature programs to restaurant-style dining, our community has everything you need to promote heart health. To learn more, visit our website to schedule a personalized tour of Sunscape Boca Raton!