The month of February marks American Heart Month. The U.S. government encourages programs and events that educate people about heart health and give them the information they need to make heart-healthy choices in their everyday lives. Anew Home Care is excited to do our part by sharing ways you can implement some lifestyle changes that can positively affect your heart health.
Tobacco use is one of the biggest hazards for heart disease, and the risks and dangers only increase the longer and more you smoke. In addition to the fact that nicotine causes the blood vessels to constrict (increasing blood pressure and weakening the heart muscle), breathing in smoke does significant damage to the lungs, decreasing their ability to oxygenate your blood and setting off a chain reaction of other unhealthy effects. Because of this, we advise you to quit right away if you’re a tobacco user and you want to do something major to improve your heart health.
Cut Out the Salt
Over time, excessive salt consumption can lead to heart disease and other health problems, so most doctors agree that reducing salt intake is a good idea for people of all ages. High-sodium foods like potato chips and deli meats may be a quick and easy snack, but they’re not good for your heart. When you eat too much salt, it reduces the ability of your kidneys to remove water from your bloodstream. This excess buildup of fluid can significantly increase your blood pressure, putting tremendous strain on your heart and blood vessels. If you’re searching for ways to decrease your salt consumption without losing flavor, try substituting with herbs and spices to add interesting new flavors to your cooking.
Get More Exercise
Your heart is a muscle and just like any other muscle; the more you exercise it, the stronger it will be. To properly exercise your heart muscle, doctors recommend you engage in at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular activity every day. If you think jogging is the only way to get your cardio in, think again; there are lots of fun, low-impact ways to work out your heart, so talk to your doctor about ways to exercise that are appropriate for your age and fitness level.
These are just a few ways to improve your heart health, so if you’re looking for more information, talk to your doctor about your concerns. In addition, many hospitals and health care providers hold special events like free screenings during American Heart Month, so get on the web and find out what’s happening in your area! From all of us at Anew Home Care, we wish you a happy American Heart Month!