Having a healthy heart is vital to the overall health and well-being of your entire body. February is heart health month in Phoenix, and that means it’s time to get your heart into the best shape it has ever been in.
How do I know how healthy my heart is?
Before making any significant changes to your current exercise routine or diet, it is always best to get an assessment by a doctor to determine how healthy your heart is. In Phoenix, there are many ways to get your heart assessed.
It is also a good idea to be checked out by your physician or cardiologist, if you have one. Make sure you are a good candidate for all the ways you want to improve your heart function. Your doctor should be able to determine how much your heart can handle and if you need further diagnostics.
What can I do to ensure my heart stays healthy?
There are severals ways to ensure your heart stays healthy for years to come. Some things are very obvious, but your heart definitely thrives on an overall healthy approach. Here are some key factors to keeping your heart healthy.
It should come as no surprise that your diet greatly affects the health of your heart. It is important that your diet contains tons of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and healthy sources of protein, like fish. Also, keep in mind that all fat is not bad. Your heart needs healthy fats (like those found in avocados and some oils). However, be sure to limit all processed foods, trans fats, red meats and sugary treats.
Move! Exercise doesn’t have to be expensive or super intense. After consulting your doctor, make a plan to move more, even if it is just a walk around the block or a few laps at the mall. Work towards a goal of 30 minutes a day of exercise.
Obesity has a major effect on the health of your heart. The more weight you put on your body, the harder your heart has to work to pump blood through your entire body. By combining a healthy diet with routine exercise, the weight should be able to come off quickly. This is another aspect that should be thoroughly discussed with your doctor if you struggle with obesity.
Your whole body needs rest and that includes your heart. Sleeping gives your body time to rest and heal. Ideally, you should strive for 7-8 hours of uninterrupted, beautiful sleep.
One thing that might not be obvious is the relationship between your dental hygiene and heart health. The buildup of plaque and tartar can create the perfect environment for bacteria to grow and thrive. The bacteria can then get into your blood vessels causing inflammation, tiny blood clots and even heart attacks or a stroke. It is best to maintain a strict regimen of brushing and flossing throughout each day.
You greatly increase your chance of cardiovascular disease when you smoke. Quitting smoking is not just good for your heart, but it is good for your overall health. In Phoenix, you can get help to stop smoking today.
How can I support others with regard to heart health?
In Phoenix, the American Heart Association is hosting a Heart Walk. This is your chance to support and help researchers improve cardiovascular health for all Americans.
The goal of this walk is, “By 2020, to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent while reducing deaths from cardiovascular disease and stroke by 20 percent.”
The American Heart Association Heart Walk will be held on March 30th, 2019 at Cityscape in Downtown Phoenix. While walking, the goal of the event is to improve patient care, awareness of heart disease, protecting the future of our children and their risk of heart disease, and overall education. Be aware that you can walk, donate and volunteer for this event.
You heart is an essential organ for your entire body. Keeping your heart in shape means keeping your whole body in shape. Heart disease is the cause of 1 in 4 deaths and that is a number that can easily be reduced. There are steps you can take to make your heart healthy and not become another statistic. You have the power and now you have the knowledge to make a difference for yourself.