February is Heart Health Month. Do you know what it takes to keep your heart healthy?
February is Healthy Heart Month. Do you know if your heart is healthy? Knowing the condition of your heart and your risk factors for heart disease can help you improve your heart health. With simple changes in your daily life, you can improve the condition of your heart, make it healthier, and live a longer and happier life! Here are some easy tips you can start today:
· If you are taking medications for your heart, knowing why and how to take them properly will increase the likelihood of being compliant and give you reasons to work on making your heart stronger. Have a discussion with your health care provider to make sure you’re taking all your medications correctly.
· Smoking has been proven to damage your heart. Cutting down, or even better…quitting, will definitely improve your chances of living longer and healthier. You can get help from your doctor for medications that help with the cravings, and there are programs to help you “kick the habit”.
· Drinking alcohol can cause irregular heartbeats, raise blood pressure, and lead to heart disease. If you enjoy sipping a glass of wine, beer or a cocktail now and then, keep moderation in mind to protect your health. Limit alcohol to no more than one to two drinks per day.
· Get physically active. Try to move a little bit more every day. Find some type of physical activity for yourself and make it routine, and then step it up a bit! Get that heart pumping!
· Eat a heart healthy diet. The Mediterranean Diet is one great idea that emphasizes eating more fruits, vegetables, and fish and less meat and processed foods. Following such a diet will also help maintain a healthy weight.
· Look after your mental health. There is a greater risk for heart disease for people who have depression, are socially isolated, or do not have good social support. Having a good social life with family and friends can help.
· Know your numbers for blood pressure,cholesterol, and blood sugar, and work on keeping them within normal ranges. You can get an idea of your numbers and what to do right here at the senior center where screenings are available. See the nurse for more information!
Keeping your heart healthy is one of the most important ways to make sure you are feeling your best.
Tina Belmont BSN, RN