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February is National Heart Health Awareness Month

By Kai Wade - Director of Communications & Social Media | February 10th, 2015

February is National Heart Health Awareness Month. Heart disease remains the number one cause of death in men and women in the United States.

What can you do to stay heart healthy? Heart disease can be delayed and even prevented by implementing a healthy lifestyle that incorporates proper nutrition, physical activity, smoking cessation and getting the recommended amount of sleep each night.

By focusing on these four key health factors and behaviors, you can keep your heart healthy, lower your risks of heart disease and stroke, and improve your quality of life.

Heart Healthy Tips

Healthy Diet: A healthy diet plays a key role in your heart’s durability. The American Heart Association recommends a dietary pattern that encourages a majority of calories from fruits, vegetables and whole grains, moderate consumption of fish and nuts, and minimizes simple sugars, salt and fat.

Stay Active: Do you find time to exercise? A healthy heart relies on your ability to incorporate day to day activities. The recommended goals for daily physical activity include — 30 minutes
of moderate intense aerobic activity five times per week or 25 minutes of vigorous activity three times per week, and strength training twice a week.

No Smoking: Smoking not only comprises of cancer-causing substances, but introduces nicotine and carbon monoxide directly injure blood vessels — further leading to blockages in the arteries and possibly heart attacks and strokes. Quitting smoking can be a challenging act — but far worth the benefits of a healthy heart. Try setting a quit date, choosing a method or aid to help with quitting, removing triggers from your home (cigarette lighters and ashtrays) and enlisting the help of others to hold you accountable.

Get Your Rest: Inadequate sleep leads to many health problems. Research indicates that untreated sleep apnea leads to the development of heart disease. Insomnia has now been linked to using electronic devices prior to bedtime. Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition. If you or a loved is having difficulty sleeping, particularly if you’re overweight or are snoring excessively, it is important to talk to a medical professional today.  

Heart Disease Facts

According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death for people of most ethnicities in the United States, including African Americans, Hispanics, and whites. The most common type in the United States is coronary artery disease, which can cause heart attack, angina, heart failure, and arrhythmias.

  • About 600,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year — 1 in every 4 deaths.
  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women.
  • Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease, killing nearly 380,000 people annually.
  • Every year about 720,000 Americans have a heart attack. Of these, 515,000 are a first heart attack and 205,000 happen in people who have already had a heart attack.

To learn more about heart disease treatment, contact a heart surgeon near you.


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