Tick Tock Tips for Optimal Heart Function
Did you know February is federally designated as Heart Health Month?
Since 1963, the government has sought to raise public awareness about risk factors, symptoms, and lifestyles that impact heart health for all Americans.
These are the fundamentals:
Learn about personal risk factors. Cardiovascular issues may stem from genetic factors, lifestyle behavior, and other circumstances only a trained doctor can evaluate. Modifying your lifestyle, changing medication, and reviewing other treatments may be helpful in resolving or controlling risks of heart disease and other cardiovascular ailments.
Over 735,000 Americans have heart attacks. Of these, nearly one in five die as a result. If treated within an hour of symptoms starting, the prognosis for recovery is good. Yet less than 30 percent of people can name all the significant signs of a cardiovascular incident:
- Chest pain or discomfort;
- Upper body pain in arms, back, neck, jaw or upper stomach;
- Shortness of breath;
- Nausea, lightheadedness, or cold sweats.
A balanced whole foods diet low in processed foods and sugar is fundamental for heart health. Substitute fish occasionally and go meatless a few times a week. Eat more vegetables and drink more plain water rather than sodas or alcoholic beverages.
Stay strong with exercise. Keep the heart healthy with 30 minutes of moderate daily exercise. After all, the heart is a muscle. Choose routines that you enjoy doing and will stick with over time. Consistency and regularity are key!
Have regular checkups. Factors like genetic predisposition, physical condition, and the presence of chronic stress need to be monitored regularly. Have a trusted medical team on your side to advise, consult, and guide your well-being.
Interesting and shareable heart health facts:
Laugh often and live longer. A good belly laugh increases blood flow by 20 percent and its positive effects last for 24 hours.
An adult has 60,000 miles of blood vessels. Every heartbeat sends nutrients and oxygen to organs and tissue in your body. These blood vessels, if stretched end to end, would be the equivalent of circling the Earth 2.5 times.
Fun Fact: In an average lifetime, a single heart pumps 1 billion barrels of blood. That could fill more than 1500 Olympic-sized swimming pools!
A woman’s heart beats faster than a man’s heart. An average woman’s heart beats 78 times per minute; a man’s heart beats 70 times per minute.
Healthy heart, healthy mind. Maintaining heart health from a young age may help the brain stay sharp as one grows older.
Fun Fact: The heart doesn’t look like Valentine’s heart. The actual shape resembles an upside-down pear.
Blood is pumped to 75 trillion cells in our bodies. The only place that does not receive blood is your corneas.
Keep calm to carry on. Studies suggest angry outbursts actually boost the chance of heart attack or stroke.
Yoga Is good for heart health. It slows down heart rate that in turn lowers blood pressure.
What are the best lines of defense to keep this critical muscle in your body operating at peak function?
- Exercise more
- Make better food choices
- Get regular heart checkups and screenings
- Modify lifestyle choices and goals to maximize longevity
Happy Heart Health Month!