6 ways to love your heart this valentine’s day!
Instead of chocolates and candies, show your heart some love by committing to making healthier choices starting today!
Why is heart health so important?
- Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S.
- Someone has a heart attack every 34 seconds.
- Each minute, someone in the U.S. dies from a heart disease-related event.
- 19% of people age 45+ and 30% of people 65+ have circulatory disease.
- The heart muscle beats about 100,000 times per day.
- A normal adult heart circulates over 1 gallon of oxygenated blood throughout the body every minute.
- On average, a person’s heartbeats 60-100 times per minute.
If a person’s heart rate is too fast or too slow, or blood is pumped with too much force (hypertension) or not enough force (hypotension), a person may experience heart-related problems.
Likewise, anything that reduces blood flow (e.g., plaque buildup in the arteries) is a potential problem as a person’s body may not get the oxygenated blood it needs to function.
High blood pressure is often referred to as the “silent killer” because one may not show any symptoms until it’s too late. Schedule a physical exam with your doctor to access any unseen risk factors.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, research shows lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels can reduce the risk of developing a heart condition, having a heart attack, needing bypass surgery, and dying from heart disease. While it may sound like a broken record, the most effective preventative measures to reduce your risk of circulatory diseases are:
- Eat healthily
- Quit smoking
- Cut back on alcohol
- Reduce stress
- Sleep well
To determine how much physical activity you need, check out the CDC’s website. For menu planners and healthy eating, guidelines visit www.ChooseMyPlate.gov.
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