Did you know that February is American Heart Month? While we all love celebrating our loved ones on Valentine’s Day, celebrating a healthy heart is just as important. Considering that heart-related diseases are one of the most significant causes of death in the United States, living a heart-healthy lifestyle is one of the best ways to take care of yourself. Keep reading to learn a little more about heart health and what you can do to maintain your heart health.
Before getting into what measures one can take to minimize their risk of heart disease, it is first important to mention that certain individuals are at a higher risk of heart disease than others. For example, individuals with conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes are at an increased risk of developing heart disease. Additionally, overweight individuals and individuals who smoke are also at higher risks. You should be sure to talk to your doctor about what measures you can take to minimize your risks.
Now that we know some of the risks of heart disease, let’s look at some of the steps we can take to ensure our heart health. Firstly, ensure that you are visiting your doctor regularly. One of the major causes of heart disease is an unhealthy diet consisting of too much sodium, saturated and trans fats, excess sugar, and alcohol. We can maintain our heart health by aiming to minimize our consumption of salts, fats, sugars, and alcohol. A great tip for limiting our salt intake is using other non-salt seasonings when cooking. This can include things like herbs, vegetables, and peppers. Having a heart-healthy diet doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice eating delicious foods!
Beyond our diet, we can also maintain our heart health by managing our stress levels and engaging in consistent physical activity. Elevated levels of stress can put strain on your heart and in severe cases even trigger heart attacks and angina. Now that you know some ways to maintain your heart health, be sure to celebrate American Heart Month this February!