Heart Healthy Month

heartHealthyMonth

 

February is Heart Healthy Month.  And because heart disease is the #1 killer for men and women, it is important that each of us learn how to prevent heart disease and learn how to improve our cardiovascular health.   FM100.3’s Heart Healthy Month is sponsored by the University of Utah Health Care’s Cardiovascular Center, and throughout the month, we will be sharing tips on how to recognize the dangers of heart disease, when to call a healthcare professional, and how to get back on track to better heart health.  To learn more about living a heart conscious lifestyle and for information about comprehensive cardiovascualr programs, call 801-585-7676 or  click here.

1. Your heart is a muscle that pumps blood through your body. To work right, your heart needs a steady supply of oxygen supplied by your arteries. If you have Coronary Artery Disease, see a heart specialist so that you can make the lifestyle changes you need and so that you can receive the most advance medical treatments possible for a longer and healthier life.
2. Heart disease and stroke kill one in three women. That’s more than all cancers combined. And on another serious note, it kills more women than men. That’s why both men and women need to learn how to beat and prevent heart disease.
3. Heart disease is preventable. The American Heart Association says 80 percent of heart disease and stroke can be prevented by creating healthy lifestyles like being active, controlling cholesterol, eating better, reducing your blood sugar, and losing weight.
4. Want to help your heart be healthy? Quit smoking. It’s one of the top controllable risk factors for heart disease. Quitting smoking also helps your family and friends because second hand smoke is bad for their heart health too.
5. The more a person knows about heart disease, the better chance there is of beating it. What should we know? Our risks, our current heart health, and what we can change in our lifestyle to prevent it.
6. Heart attack symptoms in women and men can be very different. Chest pain is common for men, but may not be felt in a woman. She may feel jaw pain, shortness of breath, or nausea. Knowing it can be different for men and women may save your life.
7. An annual visit to a doctor may save your life. You want to have your blood pressure, cholesterol, body mass index, and other vitals checked regularly to help assess your heart health and give you peace of mind.
8. Heart Health begins in childhood. Research shows children need at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Encouraging your children to exercise an hour a day can lower their risk of developing cardiovascular disease and obesity.
9. Exercise is good for your heart in many ways. It helps control your weight, reduces your blood pressure, and raises your HDL or good cholesterol. Simply put, increasing your physical activity can help you live longer and happier.
10. We all have cholesterol in our blood streams in our body. But, it needs to be controlled and balanced to make sure there isn’t too much. High levels of LDL, the bad cholesterol, can clog our artieries, but good levels of HDL, good cholesterol can help clean out the bad from the arteries.
11. High Blood pressure is hard on our heart. One out of three Americans have high blood pressure. But, 20 percent of us, don’t know we have it. See your doctor annually and regularly check your blood pressure levels.
12. Some foods are more heart healthy than others. Eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lower the sugar in your meals. Eating the right foods will help you control your blood sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure, and weight.
13. We can get sensitive when we talk about our weight. But extra weight can do serious damage to your heart. In fact, too much belly fat increases your risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. So help your heart by losing weight. Every little bit helps.
14. Sugar takes great but its blood sugar levels need to be kept under control. In fact, Diabetes can quadruple your risk of heart disease of stroke. You can prevent or delay the onset of diabetes by eating right, losing weight, and taking medication prescribed by your doctor.
15. There’s something fishy about heart health. Studies show that eating fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the risk of heart disease by a third or more! So, add some herring, tuna, salmon, or even sardines to your diet.
16. Avoid salt. Most of the salty foods we eat comes from processed food and restaurant-prepared food and there’s just too much of it in our diets. One study shows that if every American reduced our salt intake by just a half teaspoon a day, we would significantly reduce the number of new cases of heart disease.
17. Stand up and move. Sitting for long periods of time isn’t healthy for us and can have an unhealthy influence on our blood fats and blood sugar. So build in breaks in your work day to get up and move.
18. Know your numbers. Get screened so you know your blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglycerides-those numbers are important for good heart health.
19. For a healthy heart, cut the fat. Reducing the amount of fat you eat so that it is no more than 30 percent of your daily calories. Cutting fat will help cut your risk of heart disease.