Heart Health Awareness Month
February is American Heart Month; a reminder to take care of your cardiovascular health. Shifa Healthcare has five easy suggestions for you to follow for a healthy heart.
Exercise has many benefits. It strengthens your heart muscles and improves circulation throughout your entire body. Only half of the adults are getting the exercise they need to reduce the risk of heart disease and other chronic conditions. Any activity that increases your heart rate or gets your body moving is one step closer to physical fitness. Some physical activity is better than none. Try taking small breaks throughout your day to increase your steps or schedule a time in your week to do a rigorous activity. Encourage others to join you by going on a short walk before or after a meal together. Look for big or small ways to increase movement in your life to promote heart health.
Maintain Healthy Living
Healthy living includes eating a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight. A healthy diet consists of a variety of fruits, vegetables, and fiber. Try to limit high salt intake, added sugars, and saturated fats. Determine what your healthy weight is by speaking to your primary care physician (PCP). Being overweight causes extra stress on the heart and blood vessels. Maintain your optimum weight through diet, exercise, and healthy living. Visit The Heart Foundation for additional tips for healthy living.
Schedule routine visits with your primary care physician (PCP). Visit your PCP on a routine basis to track your health over time. At these visits, your PCP will check your cholesterol level and blood pressure. High cholesterol levels and high blood pressure are risk factors for heart disease. Work together with your PCP to implement the use of medications or lifestyle changes to lower both your cholesterol level and blood pressure.
Stress increases the risk of heart disease in many ways. Scientists estimate that stress related disorders may increase the rate of heart attacks by 34%, and stroke by 75%. It increases your blood pressure and extreme stress can even be a trigger for a heart attack. Many coping mechanisms of stress, such as overeating, drinking, or smoking also increase the risk of heart disease. Studies also show that stress related disorders increase blood pressure 100% of the time. Find healthy ways of dealing with stress such as exercise, listening to music, or reading. Find what works for you. Reducing stress greatly reduces the risk of heart disease.
Smoking is a major cause of heart disease. One out of every 5 smoking related deaths is caused by heart disease. Smokers are 2 to 4 times more likely to get heart disease than nonsmokers. People who stop smoking significantly reduce their risk of heart disease. Within only one year, the risk of a heart attack drops significantly. Within five years, former smokers can lower their risk of stroke to the same as a person who has never smoked. It is never too late to quit smoking. There are many resources available to stop smoking. Speak to your PCP to quit smoking now.
How can Shifa help?
We at Shifa Healthcare provide routine checkups for heart diseases and cholesterol issues. Last year, we saw over 50,000 patients related to heart health. No insurance? No worries. Shifa welcomes everyone with open arms. Schedule an appointment now at: https://www.shifausahouston.org/requestanappointment