It’s EEEasy to Celebrate American Heart Month
February is American Heart Month. Just about everywhere you turn, someone is promoting it—and no wonder. We all need our hearts to keep pumping!
Heart problems aren’t limited to one particular age; they can strike babies in the womb just as much as they can an elderly individual in their home.
Here are three ways to use American Heart Month to your benefit—and to the benefit of that all-important muscle in your chest. It just so happens that all three start with E.
When it comes to heart health, educational resources abound. Whether your heart is completely healthy or you have a cardiac condition for which you’re already being treated (like arrhythmia, congestive heart failure, or aortic stenosis), knowledge is power. Explore a few of these links to get you started on your knowledge journey.
As we age, we become more vulnerable to the effects of a heart-unhealthy diet. Many common foods in America add to the dangerous plaque that can build up in our arteries. Soup is high in sodium and can contribute to heart disease. Caffeine is a stimulant that can make your heart race—not good if you’re prone to tachycardia (a heart rhythm disorder where your heart races). So what can you do?
Consider adjusting your diet. Dr. Bob Israel, an internal medicine physician with USA Health Network says that a Mediterranean diet may, in fact, do as much or more than medication to control high blood pressure.
So prescribe yourself some good foods this month: four to five servings of fruits and vegetables per day, some salmon (or other fish high in Omega-3 fatty acids), and whole grains.
You had to know this would be the third E, didn’t you? It’s almost a cliché to say “eat right and exercise,” but I’m going to let you in on a little secret: clichés are clichés because they’re generally true.
The heart is a muscle, and when worked the right way, it gets stronger, not weaker. Exercise doesn’t have to be strenuous to benefit you. Unless your doctor tells you differently—and by all means, consult with your physician before changing your physical activity routine—increased activity will burn more calories, improve your stamina, and strengthen your heart.
Doing is always better than reading. So take some steps for your heart. And if you or a loved one has an ongoing heart problem and would benefit from assistance and support in the home, Ovation Home Care offers specialized care protocols for all our clients with cardiac conditions. Learn all about it during a free in-home consultation.