About 2,200 Americans die each day from cardiovascular diseases. That’s about one every 40 seconds.
Meaning, cardiovascular diseases claim more lives than all forms of cancer combined.
That’s why it is so important to learn how to keep your heart healthy, and to help your senior loved ones to do the same, especially if they have existing health conditions.
The human heart is responsible for pumping blood throughout our body, supplying oxygen and nutrients, and removing toxins.
Heart disease occurs when the arteries leading to the heart become clogged. Although heart disease has been around since ancient times, it has been proven that many aspects of modern life exacerbate risk factors and make people more prone to heart disease and heart failure.
According to the National Institute on Aging “Changes that happen with age may increase a person's risk of heart disease. A major cause of heart disease is the buildup of fatty deposits in the walls of arteries over many years. The good news is there are things you can do to delay, lower, or possibly avoid or reverse your risk.”
While there are risk factors that contribute to heart disease that you can’t control, heart disease can often be prevented and improved by making healthy choices.
Here are some of the proven ways to keep a healthy heart.
Do not smoke or use illegal drugs.
Drink alcohol in moderation.
Keep a healthy weight.
Do Moderate Physical Activity.
Follow a heart-healthy diet (low-fat, low-cholesterol)
Limit your sodium intake to 1,500 to 2,400 milligrams per day.
Take a low-dose of aspirin daily if necessary (consult your doctor first).
Keep stress under control.
Get regular medical checkups with your primary care physician and get your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood glucose levels checked regularly.
American Heart Month is an excellent opportunity to educate ourselves about cardiovascular disease. February has been recognized as American Heart Month in the U.S. since 1963 to battle cardiovascular diseases and raise awareness.
Taking up a healthy habit like dancing, jogging, or substituting not so healthy foods can be a great way to keep your heart healthy and happy.
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute is promoting #OurHearts, a national effort to encourage and motivate people to adopt heart-healthy behaviors, together.
Research shows having social support and personal networks makes getting regular physical activity, eating healthy, losing weight, and quitting smoking easier.
Check out their online activities such as free global dance fitness class.