While famously known for Valentine’s Day, February is also American Heart Health Month. This federally designated event was created by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964, nine years after he had a heart attack. Heart disease kills more people than all forms of cancer combined; in the U.S., a heart attack occurs approximately every 40 seconds. To avoid being a statistic, consider these 3 tips for a healthy heart:
1. Get regular exercise. Cardiovascular exercises will get your heart pumping, and strength training will help build muscle. “It’s important to know your target heart rate,” explained Dr. Faraz Manazir, a cardiologist with Morrison Community Hospital. “I can determine a patient’s target heart rate and offer recommendations on how to reach it.” The American Heart Association recommends five 30-minute exercise sessions per week. Maintaining a healthy weight will go a long way in helping reduce your risk for a heart attack or stroke.
2. Get an annual physical that includes checking blood pressure, cholesterol levels, weight, and other heart health benchmarks. “These measures help determine a patient’s risk for heart disease, and allow me to offer correct advice regarding lifestyle changes (eating a healthier diet, reducing stress, and getting more sleep) and medications, if necessary,” added Dr. Manazir. “Diabetes can also lead to heart disease if left untreated.”
3. Quit smoking. Smoking, the most preventable cause of premature death in the U.S., is a major cause of heart disease. It raises triglycerides, lowers good cholesterol, damages cells lining the blood vessels, and can cause thickening and narrowing of blood vessels. It can increase the buildup of plaque in the blood vessels and make the blood more sticky and likely to clot, which can block blood flow to the heart and brain. Even secondhand smoke can have a detrimental effect on heart health. In addition to hurting themselves, smokers may be harming others in the household.
For more tips for a healthy heart, please contact:
Morrison Community Hospital
303 North Jackson Street
Morrison, IL 61270
Source: The Daily Chronicle