The month of February is dedicated to observing the American Heart Month 2022.
Heart disease is one of the primary causes of death in America today. It has claimed the lives of over 650,000 people annually. During American Heart Month 2022, let’s come together and raise awareness about the risks involved. Let’s also come together and remember and honor the lives we have lost to heart diseases and highlight steps that we can take to save countless other lives.
This American Heart Month also addresses the unequal burden we see around us in context to heart diseases in various communities.
The month of February is the perfect time to learn about one’s heart and ways to take care of the same. It is also the perfect time to understand symptoms and signals that indicate bad cardiovascular health. There are multiple ways we can all come together and embrace our heart health. Let’s look at some ways to improve your heart health, even when you or a loved one is living with heart disease.
You do have odds to live a long, healthy life!
Heart Disease - Definition
Heart diseases describe different conditions that can affect one’s heart health or cardiovascular health. Heart diseases can include blood vessels, problems in heart rhythms, and congenital defects.
An extremely common heart disease in the United States is CAD or Coronary Artery Disease. The disease occurs when a person’s arteries are not able to supply blood to the body because they become hard due to cholesterol buildup. The disease can lead to various health issues like heart failure, heart attack, stroke, angina, and irregular heartbeats.
Facts You Should Know
Every one in four people die from heart disease in the United States annually. Heart disease can strike people at any time. Some people are at more risk than others. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most deaths can be prevented if proper measures are taken.
Some extremely common risk factors of heart diseases include:
1. High cholesterol level
2. High blood pressure
5. Inactive lifestyle
6. Cigarette smoking
7. Alcohol consumption
There are multiple forms of heart disease, and most of them share common warning signs and symptoms among the majority of people. It is extremely important to learn these symptoms to get a prompt diagnosis and medical care.
Various symptoms include:
1. Discomfort in the chest
2. Chest pain
3. Shortness of breath
4. Nausea or vomiting
6. Cold sweats
7. Feeling fuller
9. Exhaustion or fatigue
11. Feeling dizzy and light-headed
12. Irregular heartbeat
14. Increase in heart rate
Preventing Heart Diseases
There are multiple risk factors that develop as people age. Factors and risks like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, etc., can increase one’s chances of developing heart diseases and stroke.
So, if you or someone you know has developed any of these risks and/or suffers from heart diseases, there are ways you can help your heart be in perfect shape and health. Here are some healthy lifestyle habits one can incorporate as a step towards good heart health!
Healthy Heart Habits
As per the American Heart Association, there are multiple ways to improve one’s heart health. It is possible that you can reduce your risk for heart diseases by making a few changes in your daily lifestyle. These changes will help you manage your heart conditions sooner instead of later.
Here are a few ways to get started:
Getting enough exercise is important. It is, in fact, one of the most important ways to improve our heart health. It is recommended that we must perform moderate exercise for at least 150 minutes every week.
If you do not smoke, great! If you do, it is time you stop. There are multiple benefits to living life without smoking. These benefits include feeling energetic, reducing cancer risk, and better blood circulation.
Start to load up on fresh fruits and vegetables as much as you can. Try to control your intake of excess salts, fats, and other saturated fatty meals that also contain cholesterol.
Try to get your health monitored regularly. Get health checkups done and watch all your data on a regular basis. Your blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol levels, and other essential tests must be done on a regular basis to keep your health in control.
Minimize those drinks
Reduce your overall alcohol intake. You can actually worsen your health by consuming alcohol in large quantities. This way, you can contribute to heart conditions like arrhythmia, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, etc.
Keep a check on your weight
Prevent heart diseases altogether by watching your weight regularly. Maintain a healthy range of body weight as per your height and shape. Being overweight can add up to your risk of developing heart diseases eventually.
Understand the importance of sleep. It is essentially important for people older in age. Getting a decent sleep between 7-8 hours every night is important to improve your brain functionality, immunity levels, metabolism, as well as your mental well-being.
Reducing stress is another integral part of reducing your overall risk of developing heart diseases. Stress overall compounds to risks of heart diseases that most of us already face in this fast-paced environment. Take some time to indulge in healthy mindfulness practices. Relieve your stress to lower your overall risk of heart diseases.
Ways to reduce risks of heart diseases
Most health conditions today can easily contribute to developing heart diseases and increasing your overall risk of heart attacks. Treatment and prevention of heart diseases require people to treat other contributing factors and problems to keep everything under control. So, here are a few ways to reduce your overall risk of heart diseases:
1. Lower your cholesterol levels
2. Keep a check on your blood pressure.
3. Keep your diabetes under control.
4. Consume prescription medicines if you suffer from any heart diseases. Beta-blockers, nitrates, and calcium channel blockers are important for people to consume. Doctors may suggest taking aspirin daily to reduce your overall risk of a heart attack.
5. If you or your loved one are struggling to maintain their daily activity and manage their lifestyle because of heart diseases, please seek help from a caregiver. Caregivers can offer you assistance as and when you need it. This also helps encourage overall activity and independence inside and outside the home.
With better awareness resources, along with some lifestyle changes, we can all help each other out to live better lives. The lives of all Americans can be changed for good, so they live longer, healthier, and fuller lives: this American Heart Month 2022, advocate for healthy habits. Take care of yourself and your loved ones. Invest in your body, especially as you are aging. So, reduce the overall risk of developing heart diseases and other conditions. It is not too late to start living a healthy life!
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