February is National Heart Month, a time to focus on heart health and take steps to nurture cardiovascular health.
The heart — the powerhouse of the body — pumps blood and nutrients throughout the body, keeping us alive and healthy. Though it’s such an important organ, many people are unclear to how to maintain a healthy heart.
Understanding what promotes cardiovascular health and implementing lifestyle changes to lower the risk of heart disease, people can take control of their heart health and live healthier lives.
Understanding cardiovascular health
Cardiovascular health refers to the functioning of your heart and the circulation of blood throughout your body. A healthy cardiovascular system means that your heart is working efficiently and your arteries and veins are unobstructed and flexible.
However, several factors can negatively impact cardiovascular health, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, obesity, physical inactivity and stress.
Lifestyle and heart health
Your everyday lifestyle habits play a crucial role in your cardiovascular health. Unhealthy habits such as smoking, lack of exercise and poor diet can contribute to heart disease.
Incorporating small changes positively impact cardiovascular health. Eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, avoiding smoking and managing stress are all good for cardiovascular health.
Identifying and managing risk factors
Identifying your risk factors early and actively managing them is essential for preventing cardiovascular diseases. Risk factors for heart disease include age, gender, family history, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, obesity and diabetes.
Scheduling regular check-ups with your doctor, monitoring your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and managing any existing conditions can help reduce the risk of developing heart disease. Additionally, reducing alcohol intake, managing stress levels and maintaining a healthy weight are also crucial for nurturing cardiovascular health.
Incorporating healthy habits into your lifestyle is vital for nurturing cardiovascular health. Reduce processed and fried foods and replace them with heart-healthy alternatives like fruits, vegetables, lean protein and omega-3 fatty acids.
Get adequate sleep to maintain heart health. Aim for at least seven to eight hours of quality sleep each night.
Heart Month is a time to focus on heart health and take steps to maintain a healthy heart and cardiovascular system. By making healthy choices and nurturing cardiovascular health, we can live a life full of vitality and well-being.
For more information visit TannerHeartCare.org.