For being the shortest month, February can sometimes feel like the longest month: bad weather, gray skies, the lingering slush of winter.
Your heart might be longing for nothing but spring, but the American Heart Association, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and even a presidential proclamation want to remind you this month that perhaps the first thing your heart desires is good health.
Every year since the Johnson Administration, American presidents have proclaimed February as “American Heart Month” to raise awareness of cardiovascular disease, which includes heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke.
Take Care of Your Heart
According to the CDC, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for Americans, but it can also be mitigated through a few simple daily actions:
1. Schedule Routine Physicals: Prevention and early action are two of the best ways to combat cardiovascular disease. Scheduling regular check-ups with your physician to monitor blood pressure, cholesterol and sugar levels not only gives you a baseline to help you track your ongoing health, it allows your physician to talk with you about any potential problems in the earliest stages.
2. Exercise Every Day: Two and a half hours of aerobic exercise every week can do wonders for your heart health. Additionally, daily activity to get your blood circulating is also important. Even if it is as simple as a 15-minute walk, the key is to get out and get moving.
3. Eat Healthy: A high-fat, high-sodium diet is a leading contributor to heart disease, so reducing your intake of salts, fats and sweets and increasing your daily fruits and vegetables is one of the best things you can do for healthier living. Of course, the occasional indulgence (such as a few chocolates on Valentine’s Day) won’t hurt, but aim for several fist-sized servings of fruits and vegetables every day.
4. Quit Smoking: Medical scientists have known for years that smoking is terrible for one’s health. You might be surprised to learn that in addition to causing lung cancer, smoking contributes to heart disease.
5. Be Mindful of Medications: Sometimes diet and exercise alone aren’t enough to combat heart disease, so your doctor may recommend medication to lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol. If your physician prescribes you a medication it’s important to fill it and take it as recommended.
Find Out How We Help Our Residents
At Bethesda Senior Living, we encourage our residents to take care of their heart health every day to enjoy longer, more fruitful lives. All of our communities offer a wealth of healthy dining options and fitness classes, as well as a trained wellness team, routine wellness screenings of blood pressure and weight, physical therapy partnerships, medication management and more.
By helping our residents take care of their heart health, we help them feel good so they can pursue whatever their hearts desire. To learn more about our wellness offerings, visit one of our communities today.
Posted on Fri, February 26, 2016
by Becca H