February is American Heart Month and it’s the perfect reminder to make your heart health a priority year-round. President Lyndon B. Johnson first declared February as American Heart Month in 1964 and it has been a nationally recognized holiday since then.
During the month of February, many organizations like the American Heart Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention call special attention to the risk of heart disease and how people can make decisions that can improve their heart health.
Worldwide, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death and, according to the American Heart Association, nearly 18.6 million people across the globe died of cardiovascular disease in 2019 and that number is expected to grow past 23.6 million by 2030.
However, there is hope. Key risk factors for heart disease are tied to poor diet, lack of exercise, and tobacco use — all factors that can be changed. The staggering statistics around the prevalence of heart disease and the opportunities to lessen its impact are why heart disease awareness is so important.
Show Yourself Some Love: Tips for Heart Health
There’s a lot you can do to prevent heart disease, like exercising, knowing your heart health numbers, eating well, and eliminating tobacco products.
Moving your body for at least 2 ½ hours a week can help to manage your cholesterol and blood pressure levels. While COVID has made it harder to go to a gym regularly, there are still ways to be active. Try going on a walk, taking an online yoga class, or doing at-home workouts. Enlist the help of a friend (even virtually) to help motivate each other.
Know Your Heart Health Numbers
It’s important to understand the numbers that influence your heart health so that you can monitor and control them. Your blood pressure, weight, and cholesterol can all lead to cardiac disease if not managed properly.
You should get your cholesterol and blood pressure checked regularly and talk to your doctor about what appropriate numbers are and how often you should get checked. If you have diabetes, you should also monitor your blood sugar.
Outside of doctor’s visits, tracking your food and exercise can help you make sure that you’re taking care of your body in the right way. If you struggle with your weight, consider talking to a doctor or dietician about how to eat more heart-healthy foods.
Eliminate Tobacco Products
Chemicals in tobacco smoke can be harmful to your blood vessels, lungs, and heart. There is also newer evidence that vaping can also damage your heart and lungs. Eliminating any tobacco use from your lifestyle will help keep your heart and lungs strong. Quitting isn’t easy but there are plenty of resources out there to help you get started. Learn more from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Feel The Love With Your Hometown Hospice Choice
For patients dealing with cardiac disease, palliative and hospice care can help to manage symptoms and increase quality of life. Both Carebridge Services and Hospice of Southwest Ohio are made up of multidisciplinary teams of healthcare professionals and volunteers who work together to help patients with chronic conditions, like heart disease.
We Love What We Do
At Hospice of Southwest Ohio, we’re proud to be your hometown hospice choice. We have an amazing team of professionals who are passionate about delivering high quality, compassionate care every day. HSWO offers hospice, palliative and in-home primary care in and around the greater Cincinnati area in Clermont County, Butler County, Warren County and Hamilton County. Call today at (513) 770-0820.