Sam Sly

A Healthy Heart Begins With Awareness

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A Healthy Heart Begins With Awareness

If you own a Biostrap, chances are you are interested in your heart health. For that matter, if you are human then you should also be interested in heart health. February is Heart Health Month.

In honor of Heart Health Month, we will share some information to promote heart health awareness.

Five Surprising Facts and Statistics About Heart Health

  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death for Americans from a variety of racial or ethnic groups including Caucasian, African American, and Latino people. (Source: The Heart Foundation).
  • More people die from heart disease than cancer (Source: The Heart Foundation).
  • Approximately 103 million adults in the USA have high blood pressure (Source American Heart Association).
  • Heart disease kills more women than all forms of cancer, yet most women are not aware of the risk. Only 1 in 5 American women believe that heart disease the greatest health threat. (Source: The Heart Foundation).
  • Someone has a heart attack every 40 seconds in the United State. Every 60 second, multiple people die from heart conditions within the USA (Source Center for Disease Control).

These facts about heart disease are a little scary and concerning. The good news is there are things we can do to reduce our risk of dying from heart disease. First, be aware of the risk factors associated with developing heart disease. Some of these factors have a genetic element, but many are lifestyle choices.

Risk Factors:

The CDC lists the following risk factors for heart disease. According to the CDC, 49% have at least one of these three risk heart disease factors:

  • High blood pressure
  • High LDL cholesterol
  • Smoking

Other Risk Factors Include:

  • Diabetes or prediabetes
  • Overweight and obesity
  • Poor diet and nutrition
  • Sedentary lifestyle or Lack of physical inactivity
  • Excessive alcohol consumption

Any lifestyle changes that reduce these risk factors will also reduce risk. Be sure to see your doctor to come up with a plan. In the meantime, the following list outlines some action you can take to help protect yourself and others from dying of heart disease.

Ways To Minimize Your Risk of Becoming a Heart Disease Victim

  • Regularly seek routine and preventative health care. Your doctor or medical professional tracks your blood pressure, weight, cholesterol levels, blood sugar, and risk over time. Prevention and early treatment can prevent many health emergencies.
  • Maintain an active lifestyle, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that adults get at least 30 minutes of moderate activity most days. The health benefits compound with additional activity providing that you allow adequate recovery time (or in other words, are not overtraining).
  • Eat a heart healthy and balanced diet. Nutrition trends are cyclical and there is variation depending on sensitivities, allergies, health conditions, and preferences. Talk with your doctor about current guidelines or consider seeing a registered Dietitian. Some health plans cover a Dietitian visit as part of a preventative health program especially for patients who are overweight, have prediabetes, or have other health issues.
  • Manage stress and get enough sleep. We previously published an article on how you can use your baseline Heart Rate Variability score to evaluate and guide your stress management program.
  • Learn the symptoms of heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes for your own protection and so you can get help for other people if necessary. Many people do not know the signs of a heart attack and how they can vary depending on the individual's gender.
  • Consider taking a CPR certification course or renewing your certification. This may not help you directly, but you may be able to save someone you care about since quick response improves the chances of survival.
  • Practice gratitude. Yes, it is not only good for your attitude it is also good for your heart. According to the American Heart Association, feeling thankful and grateful for the people and things you love may actually lower your blood pressure and boost immunity.

In honor of Heart Health Month, educate yourself about heart disease. Take the opportunity to consider whether your lifestyle is heart healthy and if not, plan to make changes.

Sources and Resources:

The Heart Foundation

https://www.theheartfoundation.org/heart-disease-facts/heart-awareness-month/

American Heart Association

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/

Heart Disease Facts, the Center for Disease Control

https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm

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