February is recognized annually as American Heart Month. This is a good time to take a look at our lives to consider our risk of heart disease and other heart-related conditions. Heart disease remains the number one cause of death in the United States. According to the CDC, approximately 659,000 people die from heart disease every year. If our hearts could help give us warning signs, what would they say?
“Let’s get up and go for a walk.”
Daily physical activity is an important factor in decreasing your risk for heart disease. Exercising daily not only helps you maintain a healthy body weight but also helps lower your blood pressure and cholesterol by lowering your LDL levels and boosting your HDL levels.
“We need to eat more fruits and vegetables.”
Another key role to health and maintaining a healthy weight is your diet. A diet rich in a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and omega-3 fatty acids may help to prevent heart disease. Try to limit your saturated fats to 7% or less of your daily calories and keep trans fats as low as possible.
Consult with a registered dietitian for more information on improving your health and lifestyle through diet. Also, click here to learn about heart-healthy cooking tips from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
“Let’s begin yoga classes or buy a stress relief coloring book.”
Since stress affects everyone differently, it is important to learn how to manage yours. Failing to properly manage your stress may increase your risk of heart-related health problems.
“We need to call our doctor and schedule an annual visit.”
Regularly monitor your blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, and other important health indicators through appointments with your physician. It is important to know your family history and other risk factors in order to make changes for the future.
“Let’s stop smoking.”
Smoking is shown to raise your heart rate and blood pressure levels. Smoking also increases your risk of a heart attack from increased blood clotting, hardening of arteries, and damaging your overall circulatory system.
Sara Glanz, MS, RD, LD, CNSC worked as a traveling dietitian for Dietitians On Demand for two years before joining the team as the corporate dietitian. In this role, she has championed the continuing education program to empower dietitians everywhere to achieve their professional goals.
If you have more questions about heart health, it’s always a great idea to speak with a registered dietitian. Registered dietitians are the only credentialed experts qualified to address your unique health questions. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a direct consultation with a dietitian today!