American Heart Month: How to prevent heart disease

Feb 14, 2019

A recent report by the American Heart Association (AHA) found that 121.5 million adults in the U.S. have cardiovascular disease, the number one cause of death in the U.S.

Physical inactivity, nutrition, smoking/tobacco use, lack of sleep and other underlying medical issues such as high blood pressure and diabetes impact heart health.

Family Care Network believes prevention is the number one step towards maintaining a healthy heart. Prevention measures can be used by all ages and the good news is, you can start today!

Begin preventing heart disease by increasing your activity level.

The federal guidelines for physical exercise are 2.5 hours a week of moderate-intensity activity or 1.25 hours a week of vigorous-intensity activity, or a combination of both.

Did you know the AHA’s study found a potential link between the increasing use of smartphones and inactive behavior? Be smart with your phone and don’t let overuse affect your health!

Good nutrition is also a preventive measure. The Mayo Clinic suggests using portion control, eating more fruits and vegetables and whole grains while limiting unhealthy fats and reducing sodium intake.

Tobacco use increases the risk for developing cardiovascular diseases and remains a leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. If you have a history of smoking, talk to your doctor about steps to take to keep your heart healthy. Your primary care doctor is also a great resource when you’re ready to quit. 

Don’t forget about sleep! Under seven hours and over eight hours of sleep are associated with greater risks to heart health. The Mayo Clinic suggests sticking to a sleep schedule, not eating or drinking before bed, limiting daytime naps, stress management and maintaining physical activity.

Because there can be other underlying causes that impact heart health, it’s important to speak with your doctor about any changes or unusual symptoms you might be experiencing. Symptoms such as chest pain, a cough that won’t quit, persistent snoring, and extreme fatigue, could be potential warning signs of heart failure, sleep apnea or diabetes.  

Prevent heart disease today. If you’re a current FCN patient, make an appointment for a wellness exam to review other prevention tips with your doctor. If you or someone you know is looking for a doctor, please visit: https://www.familycarenetwork.com/new-patients.

 

For more information on the American Heart Association’s study visit:

https://www.heart.org/en/news/2019/01/31/cardiovascular-diseases-affect-nearly-half-of-american-adults-statistics-show

https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1161/CIR.0000000000000659