February is American Heart Health Month. This is the perfect time for all of us to be more active, know the facts about heart disease and also spread awareness. For those who didn't already know, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women so it's important to be educated and take steps towards better heart health. I've put together a list of facts and ways to make this February all about your heart!
National Wear Red Day.
This takes place on the first Friday in February! This year that just so happens to land on February 1st. This is all about raising awareness and bringing attention to the cause!
I know not everyone has a lot of time for this and it's easier for others, but even walking a little extra some days can make a difference. Get motivated and push yourself! Exercising is one of the simplest ways of preventing heart disease.
Our eating habits can play a big part in having heart problems. Take it slow and cut out the junk over a period of time, this way you grow to not like it anymore.
Getting checked regularly.
Many people think that heart disease is only something that happens to people who are older and that is FALSE. It can happen to any person at any age, therefore it should be something we all get checked for during random stages of life. Also, not everyone experiences symptoms so this could save your life.
Know the signs of a heart attack.
For most people the signs are chest pain or discomfort, upper body pain, weird feelings in your arms, legs, jaw or stomach, shortness of breath, cold sweats and nausea.
The number one killer of women.
Heart disease is the number one killer amongst women. This adding up to be more deadly than all forms of cancer combined.
It is proven that yoga can help lower your blood pressure because it slows down your heart rate. So for those who have high blood pressure, try yoga and see if it makes a difference!
Encourage the ones around you.
If you have a family member who is stubborn about their health, make them get checked! You can try to guilt them into it if you have to but helping them can really make a difference of how long they are here with you.
Smokers have more than twice the risk of having a heart attack than non-smokers. Everyone thinks nothing bad will happen to them (and I hope nothing does) but this one act can help expand your life dramatically.
Try to maintain a healthy weight.
This goes hand in hand with exercise. Talk to your doctor about your weight and see if you are in the clear.
Laughing is good for your heart.
Research shows that when you experience a good laugh, you increase your blood flow. This can have great positive effects on your health for as long as 24 hours!
Your heart works hard.
The heart is the hardest working muscle in your body!
If you have diabetes you are at a higher risk.
Diabetes can cause blood vessels to narrow or clog which increases the risk of heart attack (by double!) It is important to really pay attention to what you eat and monitor your health, especially when you have diabetes.
Most heart attacks happen on Monday's.
The majority of heart attacks occur between 8 and 9 in the morning and on Mondays. (Weird stat, I know.)
Stress leads to weight gain, a decrease in happiness and an increase in anxiety and depression, which are all key risk factors for heart disease.
Join an organization.
Donate money to different organizations that are dedicated to raising awareness and doing research to find cures to different heart problems. Not only can you donate money, you can get involved, too!
Participate in a Heart Walk.
The American Heart Association holds a heart walk every year in cities all across the country! This is a perfect way to get active and show your support for someone you know or maybe even someone you lost. Go to their website and see if there will be one at a location near you!
Adult hearts pump gallons.
The average adult heart pumps over a gallon of blood per minute. This is enough to fill about 38,000 drinking glasses each day!
A broken heart is real.
Studies show that bad or sad news can actually increase your risk of having a heart attack. Death by broken heart?
F-A-S-T is an acronym used when you think someone is suffering from a stroke. It stands for,
F - Face drooping
A - Arm weakness
S - Speech difficulty, and
T - Time to call 9-1-1.
Knowing these symptoms can help save a life.
Take the pledge.
Take the #MoveWithHeart pledge and encourage your friends and family to do it with you!
Go on an active date.
Instead of going out for drinks, go on a hike or do something outside! This could be with friends or your loved ones! Get active and motivate the ones around you to do so as well.
Inform young kids.
It's important to inform younger children about heart health! Teach them ways to protect their hearts and encourage them to be active.
Replace candy with fruit.
If you are craving something sweet reach for some fruit instead of candy! If you are a chocolate person, try dark chocolate!
Having good dental hygiene can reduce your chances of having a heart attack or stroke by 50%. Something so easy can impact your health so much!
There are some healthy red foods you can eat to stay in the theme! Tart cherries, tomatoes, beets, strawberries, kidney beans, red potatoes and red lentils!
Choose your birth control wisely.
Females who are on birth control may have a doubled risk of stroke, especially if you already have high blood pressure. Talk with your doctor to make sure it's safe for you!
It's smart to look up all about heart disease! Educate yourself and be aware of signs and symptoms. Know ways to get involved to help the ones around you and yourself!
Maybe that was a lot to take in but just keep in mind that heart disease can easily be prevented if you take action! Spread the word and encourage others to take steps towards a healthier lifestyle!