February is American Heart Month: Let’s Talk About Prevention

Sadly, many of us know someone who is affected by heart disease. According to the American Heart Association, over 2000 Americans die of cardiovascular disease each day. However, there is a way to make a difference! In fact, approximately 80 percent of cardiovascular diseases may be preventable with lifestyle changes and education.

What is Heart Disease and Cardiovascular Disease?

Heart disease comprises of a range of conditions that affect your heart. These conditions can range from heart defects you are born with to blocked blood vessels. Heart disease is more of an umbrella term, while cardiovascular disease more specifically refers to narrowed or blocked blood vessels. Narrowed or blocked blood vessels can lead to heart attacks and stroke.  

Many Cardiovascular Diseases are Preventable

While certain risk factors for heart disease are not within your control (such as genetics), many key factors are. Even moderate lifestyle and diet changes can reduce your risk for developing heart disease. Here are some lifestyle and diet changes to consider:

Exercise/Physical Activity

Physical activity is very good for both the body and mind. It helps you lower your blood pressure, maintain a healthy body weight, boost good cholesterol levels, and keeps you physically and mentally fit. Consult with your doctor before beginning physical activity to make sure you are healthy enough.

Diet

The average American diet is high in processed foods with sugar and saturated fats. For a more heart-healthy diet, avoid fast food as much as possible. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and veggies. Select whole grains with lots of fiber. Fiber plays a role with heart health. Limit unhealthy fats, such as butter, bacon fat, cream sauces, and hydrogenated margarine. Healthy fats to add to your diet include avocados, nuts, and olive oil. Speak with your doctor if you plan to change your diet. Make sure it is safe to do so.

Make a Few Small Changes at a Time

It’s hard to make changes to your life. Especially if you have been doing something a certain way for years. Instead, start with a few small changes. Once you master a change and feel comfortable with it, move on to the next small change. For example, if you drink soda every day, cut down to once a week. Or if you never exercise, try doing a brisk 10 minute walk every day for a week. Once it becomes part of your daily routine, gradually add more time to the walk.

Small changes at a time will help you develop healthy habits and keep you from becoming discouraged or overwhelmed.

With the American Heart Month just starting, consider checking out your heart health:

Have you recently visited the doctor and checked out your heart health? At Apex Medical Center, a local Las Vegas pain clinic and medical center, we provide both pain management and primary care to our patients. Make an appointment with us to see one of our doctors and get your health checked out.  


Author
Apex Medical Center

You Might Also Enjoy...

Myths and Facts About Group Counseling

The idea of group therapy can be scary, but that’s partly due to misconceptions and common myths about what it is and how it works. In this post we present some of those myths, along with some facts about group counseling you may not know.

Joint Health Tips You Can Start Using Today

You probably don’t spend much time thinking about your joints — until they start to hurt. Then, you may start considering how to protect them! Here are some of our best tips for preserving your joint health.

Signs You May Need Marriage Counseling

Marriage counseling may seem like something you do as a last ditch effort to save your relationship — or to confirm it can’t be saved — but it doesn’t have to be that way. Here, we discuss some signs that counseling could improve your marriage.

5 Things That May Be Making Your Joints Ache

Joint pain can build up slowly or begin suddenly. It can affect any part of your body where two bones meet. The underlying causes of joint pain vary and your age, sex, overall health, and other factors help doctors diagnose the cause of joint pain.

What to Expect at Your Hypnotherapy Session

Pain management often requires a multi-pronged approach, and if one of those prongs is hypnotherapy, you may feel both curious and nervous. In this post we discuss what to expect during your session, as well as why hypnotherapy works.

I Feel Anxious All the Time

Worrying is part of living, but worrying all the time can interfere with your quality of life, and make getting through a normal day difficult. Anxiety disorders can make it feel like worry rules your life, but there are effective treatments.