February is American Heart Month, and it’s the time when Americans across the nation remember why it’s important to keep your heart healthy. If you’re not aware, heart disease is still one of the leading causes of death in the United States. That’s why it is so important to monitor your heart health with diet and exercise. Since it’s American Heart Month, let’s reflect on what it takes to keep a healthy heart and how to avoid being at risk for heart disease.
1. Exercise Regularly
To keep your heart beating regularly, it’s important to get at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise five times a week if not every day. Some physicians go further and quantify the exercise by recommending that people walk over 5000 steps per day. When you exercise regularly, you lower your risk for heart disease significantly. This is why exercise is so important. If you didn’t add exercise to your New Year’s Resolution, you should make a commitment to exercise in February 2015.
2. Eat a Nutritious Diet
Eating foods that are low in cholesterol is a good way to improve your heart health. While for most Westerners it seems foreign, a plant-based diet is far better for your heart health than eating a meat-based diet. You should try making a lifestyle change and eat nutritiously every day to protect your heart from heart disease.
3. Keep Your Stress Levels Low
You should strive to keep your stress levels low. When your stress levels rise, you produce hormones that make you more prone to the development of heart disease. Your heart may also beat irregularly as a result. Try not to work in stressful environments and keep your stress levels low for the best results.
4. Understand Cardiovascular Disease
Cardiovascular disease or CVD should be understood to be avoided. While CVD does not effect all people in the same way, it will affect many people between the ages of 65 and 74. With education, the number of people in this age group affected by CVD has declined, but men are twice as likely to die from this disease than women. The sad part about it is that it is preventable.
There are some hereditary factors associated with heart disease. If you have a relative suffering from heart disease, you will be at higher risk. Your location in the nation will also make a difference in your risk level. For instance, the death rates due to heart disease were higher in the South and lower in the West.
Race and ethnicity will also make a difference. Two in five African Americans have high blood pressure and nearly 44 percent of African American men and 48 percent of African American women do have some form of CVD.
Celebrate American Heart Month!
Do something to help celebrate American Heart Month. The disease is preventable if you help others make simple changes in their lives to avoid it. Get involved and organize something to improve the heart health of others.