While February is known as the month of love, it is also National Heart Health Month. Every February, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute brings awareness to heart health by urging everyone to spread the word to help prevent heart disease. At 24/7 Nursing Care, we want you and your loved ones to be healthy all year-long, and that includes heart health.
Heart disease refers to various types of heart conditions such as heart attacks, strokes, or chest palpitations and is the leading cause of death for men, women, and most ethnic groups in the U.S. according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
What age does heart disease occur?
Due to high levels of obesity and high blood pressure, the common ages at which you are at risk of heart disease range from 35-64 years old. However, the CDC reports that many of the conditions and behaviors that are putting people at risk for heart disease are beginning to lower in age every year. Statistics aside, heart disease and the conditions that may lead to heart disease can occur at any age.
What causes heart disease?
Heart health is a big factor that plays into a person’s overall health. Because heart disease can occur at any age, statistics show that half of all Americans have at least one of the top three risk factors for heart disease.
The top seven causes of heart disease are:
- High blood pressure
- High blood cholesterol
- Physical Inactivity
- Unhealthy eating patterns
Six Ways to Improve Heart Health
The primary focus of National Heart Health Month is to provide everyone with tips on bettering their overall heart health and to know the causes of heart disease. In order to improve your heart health, here are a few easy tips to begin lowering your risk of heart disease:
- Watch your weight. – As a person ages, their body requires fewer calories. Excess weight requires your heart to work twice as hard and increases the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and heart disease.
- Eat a healthier diet. – Refresh your eating habits and reduce your intake of fatty foods and salt from your diet. Instead try opting for more fruits, vegetables, fish, whole grains, and nuts.
- Be active. – At least 30 minutes of exercise a day can reduce your risk of heart disease. This can include simple exercises such as walking, swimming, or yoga.
- Quit smoking. – If you smoke, it is time to quit. Kick the habit by gradually limiting the number of cigarettes you smoke a day, join a support group to hold yourself accountable or speak to your doctor for additional tips to help you quit smoking.
- Reduce your alcohol intake. – While it isn’t necessary to quit drinking “cold turkey” it is best to drink in moderation. Heavy alcohol consumption can worsen health conditions that contribute to various heart diseases.
- Manage stress. – There are many things that can cause stress. However, stress can steer you towards an unhealthy lifestyle that increases high blood pressure and/or high cholesterol levels. Find other ways to lower your stress such as breathing techniques, puzzles such as crosswords, Sudoku, or word searches, or going for a walk.
The best way to prevent your risk of heart disease is to visit your doctor routinely and alert them if you feel any pain in your chest.
If you or a loved one is already suffering from any form of heart disease, 24/7 Nursing Care offers various in-home care placement services that can assist with your health or recovery. To learn more about the options for your unique needs, contact us for a free at-home consultation at (786)-518-3622 in Miami-Dade or (954)-949-1332 in Broward.
Heart Disease: It Can Happen at Any Age (n.d) Retrieved January 21, 2020 from https://www.cdc.gov/features/heartmonth/index.html
America Heart Month (n.d.) Retrieved January 21, 2020 from https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/education-and-awareness/heart-month
Heart Health and Aging (n.d.) Retrieved January 21, 2020 from https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/heart-health-and-aging#prevent