Heart Exam
Preventive Care

It’s Time to Check on Your Heart

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, maybe hearts have been on your mind. And while it’s fun to celebrate with candy hearts, your real heart deserves a moment too. 

February is American Heart Month, aimed at increasing awareness of heart health. According to the CDC, someone suffers a heart attack every 40 seconds in the United States. Heart disease is a serious issue and accounted for 1 in 5 deaths in 2020. Luckily, overall cases are on the decline. This month, make sure you’re giving your heart the love it deserves.

Tick the Right Boxes

Heart disease is, to an extent, genetic. It can be passed from one generation to another. However, by building healthy habits, you can lower your risk. The steps below will not only improve your overall health but keep your heart in tip-top shape:

  • Eat healthy — Reduce your intake of processed foods like lunchmeat, chips, candy, and fast food. Make your meals colorful with lots of leafy green vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy.
  • Start moving — You don’t have to run a marathon. Just move about 30 minutes a day. Take a brisk walk after dinner or first thing in the morning. It’s important to get your heart rate up for a total of 150 minutes a week.
  • Control cholesterol and blood pressure — More exercise, more fiber in your diet, less red meat, and less dairy will all contribute to lowering your cholesterol levels and blood pressure. Decreasing salt also helps.
  • Don’t drink excessively — It can increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart failure, or stroke. Excessive drinking can also lead to obesity which is a contributing factor in heart-related diseases.
  • Reduce stress — Prolonged stress can cause long-term damage to health including cardiovascular disease. Try to remove or reduce stressors in your life.

Other Risk Factors

Ignoring the tips above can lead to a higher risk of developing heart disease. There are some other factors outside your control like family history. You’re also at higher risk if:

  • You’re a woman over 55
  • You’re a man over 45
  • Your father or brother had heart disease before 55
  • Your mother or sister had heart disease before 65

Jump Start a Healthy Heart

There is so much you can do to take care of your heart that it may be a little overwhelming. AltaMed is here to help get you on a path to healthy living and keep you there.

Our Healthy Heart Program encourages participants to live a heart-healthy lifestyle. Each week, we’ll focus on topics likes stress management, exercise, nutrition, and medication compliance. The program maintains a positive, support group-type environment. Participants work together and motivate each other to succeed.

It is recommended for people who want to achieve healthy cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Call (323) 558-7606 to enroll.

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It’s Time to Check on Your Heart