Heart Health & Aging

FEBRUARY IS AMERICAN HEART DISEASE MONTH

gored-400x0American Heart Disease Month means more than a quick blood pressure check, skipping bacon, and wearing red. Although I really like the wearing red part!

RECENT STUDIES

There is a ton of research that suggests you take steps to reduce cardiac risk factors during middle age, then you can stave off  heart disease for 14 years! Considering the risk of developing any type of cardiovascular disease in one’s lifetime is 60% for men and 55% for women, preventative effort is needed and beneficial. Cardiovascular disease includes heart disease and stroke, which can both result in death. Often at a very early age. Researcher J.T Wilkins, MD reports this and more in a wedMD article this month.

Despite high-tech innovations, medications & procedures, strict exercise and diet regimens that have been found to ‘fix’ symptoms of heart disease, we still see that moderation of diet and paying attention to a healthy life style pays off to prevent use of these modern ‘therapies and treatments’. Seems easy right? When you take your health into our own hands, you can influence that which we can control. Fact is, there is no changing your family history if one parent died of heart disease or stroke but you can mitigate the outcomes if you know and change your lifestyle accordingly.

Steps You Can Take Now

ABC-HeartPreventionWe CAN control our stress levels, the foods we consume and the approach we take to working exercise into our daily lives. Here are some activities you can do today:

  • Deep breathing is a natural way to reduce stress: take five slow, deep breathes- hard to feel anxious while focusing something completely natural, right?
  • Look into yoga- there is something for everyone.
  • Healthy food just tastes good- no denying fresh fruit trumps the canned, syrup-laden kind. America is in the midst of a healthy food movement- try it, you’ll like it.
  • Lots of attention to using a pedometer to track your steps lately too: a small investment to dial-in to your activity level and really understand the benefit, a simple bit of extra walking can add to your overall wellness. Before you know it, you will be parking farther away and taking the steps.

Give yourself some grace and understand making life changes like even the simple ones I have mentioned may be a challenge, especially at first. Also, know the rewards are worth having and lead to increased health you may never have known, which is a gift to you and your family.

We are living longer as a society because we are learning the steps we need to take to ensure a healthy life. By committing to living better now, you will continue to live well as you age.