Healthy Heart—Healthy Life
Heart disease is the number one leading cause of death in the United States and the world. So ask yourself, “Am I heart healthy and how do I really know?” Visit your physician and get a definitive answer.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD), also known as heart disease, prevents the heart and blood vessels from working properly. If your heart is not pumping blood properly or there is a clog in your blood vessels it can cause serious illness and even death. Heart failure, stroke, abnormal heart beats and heart valve problems all stem from CVD. Most people develop CVD through physical inactivity, unhealthy eating and drinking choices; however, some folks are born with certain types of cardiovascular disease.
The good news is that heart disease can be reduced through exercise and by making healthy decisions when eating and drinking.
Here are some tips to keep your heart healthy:
Be physically active
Start small at first and gradually build up the duration, frequency and intensity of your workouts. The American Heart Association recommends at least 2 ½ hours of moderate aerobic activity a week or one hour and 15 minutes of intense aerobic activity a week (or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity). Consult your doctor if you have concerns or an existing health condition.
Eat a heart-healthy diet
By reducing saturated fat, transfat and sodium you can decrease your risk of heart disease. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, nuts, and try to cut back on red meat or choose lean (90% lean or higher) red meat. Visit our healthy eating blogto learn more tips.
Watch your weight
Exercising and eating a healthy diet will help you control your weight. Excess weight causes your heart to work harder and increases the risk for heart complications as well as diabetes.
Avoid smoking and using tobacco
Montana – http://dphhs.mt.gov/publichealth/mtupp.aspx
Wyoming – https://wyo.quitlogix.org/
Alaska – http://alaskaquitline.com/
Hawaii – http://hawaiiquitline.org/
Keep your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar healthy
Being physically active and eating a healthy diet may help reduce your cholesterol, sugars and blood pressure. If you haven’t consulted your physician to be tested for cholesterol, sugars and blood pressure, go do it!
Learn the signs of cardiac arrest, heart attack and stroke:
Call 911 immediately if you think someone is going into cardiac arrest. If there is no response by tapping on their shoulders or the person doesn’t take a normal breath for at least five seconds after lifting their head, call 911. Time is critical, act immediately!
Discomfort in the center of the chest is a warning sign – pressure, squeezing, uncomfortable feelings, fullness and pain are indicators. Shortness of breath, discomfort or pain in one or both arms, jaw, neck or stomach, nausea and lightheadedness are all signs. If someone has these symptoms, call 911 immediately.
Ask the victim to smile and see if their face drops to one side or another. Ask the person to raise both arms; is one weak or numb? Slurred speech or difficult to understand speech is also a warning sign. If someone has these symptoms, call 911.
If you have a family history of heart-related issues, you are at greater risk for CVD and it is especially important that you eat healthy, exercise and consult a physician. Take time now to improve your diet and increase your activity so you can live a healthier and longer life. Your friends and family will thank you for it.