• Javonte Maynor

How to Keep Your Heart Healthy

February is American heart awareness month and the objective of the medical community is to remind the public about the ways we can maintain a healthy heart. According to the CDC, about 647,000 Americans die from heart disease each year—that’s 1 in every 4 deaths. High blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, and smoking are known to be the key factors that contribute to heart disease. Medical conditions and lifestyle choices such as diabetes, obesity, an unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, and excessive alcohol use also put people at a higher risk for heart disease. Research say that if we maintain the below lifestyle choices, we can reduce our chance of being diagnosed and dying from heart disease.

1. Being Smoke Free: Doctors say that this is the best choice we can make to stay disease free and maintain our heart health.

2. Manage our blood cholesterol: Cholesterol is good for a healthy body, but too much can result in blocked or clog arteries that can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

3. Manage our blood pressure: If you're experiencing frequent headaches, severe fatigue, difficulty breathing, and vision changes to name a few. Schedule a wellness check with your doctor to measure your blood pressure. We can't see blood pressure so it's important we get this checked.

4. Manage Diabetes: If you're diabetic, managing your diabetes is very important to prevent heart disease.

5. Be physically active: Implementing a workout routine in your weekly schedule will help you maintain your heart health. It's never too late to exercise regularly, start today!

6. Achieve and maintain a health weight: If you do not know what is a healthy weight for your height and age, visit your local gym or medical clinic to find out. Keeping your weight in check can help maintain your heart health and also help you avoid other medical problems.

7. Eating a variety of nutritious foods: Having a healthy diet that include a variety of nutritious food will prevent the diagnose and progression of medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and high blood cholesterol. If you do not know what a healthy diet is seek advice from a certified nutritionist.

8. Be mindful of your mental health: Last on the list and the one that is not talked about is looking after your mental health. Depression, being socially isolated, and not having good social support is major contributor to heart disease. Since depression can go undiagnosed for years make it a priority to visit a doctor to get help.

To learn more about how to maintain a healthy heart visit the American Heart Foundation website.

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