Take Care of Your Heart During American Heart Month
Healthy Aging | 02/13/20
February is American Heart Month – we can use this time to make a difference by raising awareness about heart disease and how people can prevent it.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women. Thankfully, heart health is largely in our control. There are many positive lifestyle habits to embrace that can help manage your blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart attack, stroke and other heart diseases. At The Atrium at Navesink Harbor, we’ve pulled together a few tips on how to take control of your health and live a heart healthy lifestyle.
Tips to a Healthy Heart
- Be Sure to Exercise – Perhaps one of the more effective changes you can make in your overall health is incorporating exercise into your routine. For a focus on heart health, include aerobic activities that engage your heart for a long period of time at least three to four times a week. This can be as vigorous as swimming or as easy as picking up the pace during your walks. The Atrium resident Katherine Guyer found that by walking to her intended destinations from her home, she was able to add activity into her routine much more often – and our central location makes this convenient. “Living here, I can walk to the pharmacy, bank, church, shopping, restaurants, library, theater and the park,” she shared.
- Eat a Healthy Diet – In addition to maintaining a healthy weight, eating a healthy diet supports a healthy heart. One diet plan specifically encouraged to promote heart heath is Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or DASH. This plan, promoted by the American Heart Association and Mayo Clinic, focuses on low-fat dairy, fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. This diet helps you reduce sodium and eat a variety of food rich in nutrients, like potassium, calcium and magnesium.
- Visit Your Doctor – Consult with your healthcare provider when it comes to health and wellness, including any concerns about heart health, at your annual appointment. Ask your doctor to check your blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and triglycerides, and ask for additional advice and tips to keep your heart healthy.
- An Abundance of Stress – Stress can have many harmful effects on your body when not properly managed, especially when it comes to your heart. Cleveland Clinic finds that stress affects factors that increase risk of heart disease, including high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, irregular heart rhythms and damage to your arteries. In order to mitigate the damaging effects of stress, participate in calming activities, such as meditation and relaxation exercises.
- Smoking – When it comes to heart health, smoking is a major risk factor for ischemic heart disease. This form of heart disease is when plaque builds up inside the coronary arteries, which narrows the arteries and reduces the blood flow to your heart muscle. If you’re looking to quit smoking, you can start by calling 1–800–QUIT–NOW or visiting smokefree.gov.
This American Heart Month, we encourage you to make even one small change to help combat the onset of heart disease. Whether it be reaching for fruit for dessert rather than a cookie or walking for 10 minutes more a day, there are simple improvements you can make to encourage a healthy lifestyle.
Discover Heart Healthy Living at The Atrium at Navesink Harbor
At The Atrium at Navesink Harbor, we help you achieve optimal wellness through our LivWell program. This award-winning holistic wellness program allows you to engage in activities and programs of your choice to achieve your own personal goals, like living a heart healthy lifestyle. To learn more about this program and the opportunities for a healthful life in our community, contact us today.