Our hearts might all be fluttering this Valentine’s Day, but February is also American Heart Month. At Victoria ER, we want to make sure that the only reason your heart skips a beat is because your sweetheart has given you the best Valentine’s gift ever. Heart disease should never play a part.
This year, the CDC Division of Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, in conjuncture with Million Hearts, is focusing American Heart Month on younger adults. National trends are showing that heart disease death rates are declining more slowly than they have in past years. This means that heart disease related deaths in adults age 35-64 are not going down as much as they should. More adults are dying from heart disease, compared to past years and statistics.
What can we do to prevent heart disease, then? How can we all work to keep our hearts in top condition?
First, it is always important to stay physically active. We hear it all the time, how much working out does for our bodies. But let’s take a closer look.
- 150 minutes of activity per week, at least. That is 2 hours and 30 minutes, about as long as one move. If you want to have even greater physical health, then try to aim for 5 ours of physical activity per week. Exercises can be mixed of aerobic and strength raining, both moderate and vigorous. Read here at the CDC for more details about what kind of work outs you should incorporate into your routine.
- Yoga can be great way to reduce stress and lower blood pressure while still getting physically active. If your monthly budget is tight, try following some reputable Youtube instructors or Hulu’s daily burn program in lieu of a studio or gym membership if your monthly budget is tight.
- It is okay to split your workouts up into 10-minute segments. If you have a busy schedule, then finding time for physical activity can be difficult. Instead of searching for one hour every day to work out, why not look for 10-15 minutes? If you can find 10-15 minute exercise windows three or four times every day, then you will still be doing wonders for your long term heart health.
- Cardio is great to quickly get your heart rate up, but strength training with moderate weights can also be just as effective in exercising your heart. As long as your heart is being exercised, what matters most is that you find an enjoyable and easy way to incorporate it into your daily routine.
Eat Good Food
Our hearts need good fuel, and to maintain good heart health, we have to make sure we eat the right foods. Avoid high sodium and trans fats to help you maintain your cholesterol. Then look for foods that promote good heart health such as:
- Salmon, tuna, or trout.
- Walnuts, almonds, or cashews
- Raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries.
- Chickpeas, lentils, and other legumes
- Oatmeal and barley
- Olive or canola oil
- Dark chocolate (yes, even the right kind of chocolate can be good for your heart!)
- Red grapes
All of these ingredients can help to promote heart health and incorporating more of them into your diets can be a tasty way to stay healthy.
Cut Out Bad Habits
No, we don’t mean stop binge-watching Netflix original series on the weekends. The kinds of bad habits that affect your heart are habits like smoking and heavy drinking.
Smoking cigarettes or other tobacco products can affect nearly every organ in your body including the heart. Quitting smoking for good can add years of health back to your heart. The same goes for heavy drinking. Both of these unhealthy habits can be difficult to quit on your own, so Victoria ER recommends calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) if you or your loved one needs help and support to quit these addictive habits.
Our emergency room is open 24/7 and always available for observation care if you go into a medical emergency while you are getting clean.
These three steps might seem basic, but these everyday health habits can have major affects on your heart. Stay healthy this month by making a few healthier diet choices throughout the year while you’re at it. If you combine that with some regular exercise, your heart will be thanking you for the rest of your life!
Nutex Health, Inc supports you and your family’s health. You can depend on Victoria Emergency Room or any one of our concierge-level, freestanding emergency facilities to deliver the emergency care you deserve, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.