February is forever tied to Valentine’s Day. That means flowers, candy, romance, and hearts! Lots of hearts.
It only makes sense that February has become American Heart Month. The first Friday in February, everyone is encouraged to wear red to help raise awareness about heart disease, which is the leading cause of death among men and women in the U.S. It is also the most preventable.
Knowing your family’s health history, making heart-healthy diet and exercise choices, and having regular checkups can help protect your heart.
What Is Heart Disease?
Heart disease might make you think of heart attacks. But a heart attack is just a symptom of heart disease. Heart disease includes several conditions. The most common in the U.S. is coronary artery disease. It affects the flow of blood to the heart. Others include:
- Heart rhythm problems
- Defects you’re born with
- Heart valve disease
- Heart muscle disease
- Heart infection
It Affects Everyone
More than 650,000 people die each year from heart disease. That’s nearly one-fourth of all deaths in the U.S. More non-Hispanic white men die of heart disease than any other group (24.9%) according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Next are non-Hispanic Black men at 23.9%, followed by men who are Asian American or Pacific Islanders at 22.9%.
Family history of heart disease is one of the biggest indicators of potential heart problems. A relatively common disorder that affects one out of every 500 people is called hypercholesterolemia. It causes high levels of “bad” cholesterol, but it can be controlled.
Other factors include
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Unhealthy diet
- Physical inactivity
- Excessive alcohol use
Eating a low-fat diet filled with fruits and vegetables will go a long way to not only preventing heart disease. It will also help with obesity and diabetes. The same goes for regular exercise. You don’t need to be an elite athlete. You just need to move for about 30 minutes a day. It works your heart and helps to lower your blood pressure. Quitting smoking — including vapes — is probably the best thing you can do for your heart.
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 healthful living and help 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