American Heart Month

February 23, 2018 Elizabeth Meade, MD

It’s American Heart Month

 

Cardiovascular disease is the leading global cause of death – almost 18 million deaths each year worldwide, and one American death every 38 seconds. Some causes we can’t change, like age and genetics – but there are lots of things we can do to improve our heart health.

Here are five heart-healthy tips:

  • Eat a diet low in sugar and processed foods, and high in whole foods, fresh produce, and use heart-healthy fats like olive oil, avocado, and nuts.
  • Move your body every day – even if you just start with 5 or 10 minutes! It doesn’t have to be all at once – 10 minutes three times a day is still 30 minutes daily.
  • Try not to be sedentary for long periods of time – get up and walk hourly, or try a treadmill or standing desk if you have that option.
  • Keep tabs on your blood pressure and get regular checkups.
  • Don’t smoke and keep your alcohol intake moderate – about one drink per day for women and two for men at the most.

It’s important to know that women less often have classic signs of heart disease – that typical crushing chest pain that we think of. If you have a family history of heart disease or you yourself have high blood pressure, heart disease or diabetes and you have any strange new symptoms – or if you’re healthy but just feel like something isn’t right – it’s always best to get checked out by your doctor.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading global cause of death – almost 18 million deaths each year worldwide, and one American death every 38 seconds. Some causes we can’t change, like age and genetics – but there are lots of things we can do to improve our heart health.

Check out http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/or the Swedish Heart and Vascular Institute for more information and tips.


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