It’s time to talk seriously about heart health.
Here are a few important statistics to keep in mind about your heart:
- Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States.
- Every year, 1 in 4 deaths are caused by heart disease.
- Heart disease affects more than 6 million American women, and another 37 million women are at risk for developing heart disease.
- It is the number one killer of women and is responsible for 1 in three deaths in women annually.
- In the United States (US), approximately 5.7million patients over the age of 20 years old have HF, with 870,000 new cases diagnosed each year.
Those are some pretty startling facts. So, what can you do?
First thing that should be done is to schedule a yearly physical with your Primary Care Physician. You can ask them about any risk factors for heart disease and whether or not you fall into any of those categories. If you do, creating a plan of action with your doctor is the best place to start.
Making healthy eating choices and cutting back on high-saturated fats can help. Meeting with a dietitian in order to make a healthy eating plan specific to your body can be a great way to ensure that you are eating the right foods and staying away from the wrong foods.
Exercising daily is an important aspect of any healthy lifestyle. Getting at least 30 minutes of exercise a day can go a long way. Go for a walk around your neighborhood, ask co-workers to take a walk during lunch break or even go for a jog at the gym on the treadmill. However you choose to get your exercise is up to you, but the important factor is that you actually do it.
Monitor Blood Pressure At Home
Instead of just waiting for your annual or semi-annual doctor checkups, start monitoring your blood pressure at home. You can purchase an at home blood pressure monitor that is accurate and helps you keep a detailed log for your healthcare professional team. If you start to see a trend of higher blood pressure readings, then consult with your doctor right away.
Know Your Hereditary Risks
Heart disease can be hereditary, so it is important to know whether you have a risk factor carried down from family members. Ask elders in your family if they have heart disease or if their parents or family members did. Knowing that you may be at risk is a great place to start.
It is important to follow as many of these steps as possible in order to try and help lower your risk of heart disease. Help spread awareness of heart disease where and when you can!