What does Valentine’s Day mean to you? For some, Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love and an opportunity to express heartfelt feelings towards the ones we love. For others, Valentine’s Day is merely a holiday where you eat heart-shaped treats.
Everyone loves an excuse to eat rich meals and decadent deserts, but don’t view this holiday simply as a day of indulgence. February is American Heart Month, and while you should certainly show love and appreciation on Valentine’s Day, take this heart-focused holiday as an opportunity to think about heart health.
Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 610,000 Americans die of heart disease annually. Heart disease is responsible for roughly 25% of deaths in the U.S. each year. Not only is heart disease the leading cause of death in the U.S., but it’s also one of the the leading causes of disability.
Risk factors for heart disease
Certain demographics are at a higher risk for heart disease than others.
- People with high blood pressure are at a higher risk for heart disease.
- High cholesterol levels increase the risk for heart disease.
- Smoking increases the risk for heart disease.
- The foods you eat contribute to your risk for heart disease. A poor diet puts you at a higher risk.
- People who are overweight or obese are at a higher risk for heart disease.
- People with diabetes are at a higher risk for heart disease.
- Physical inactivity puts you at a higher risk for heart disease.
- People who drink alcohol in excess are at a higher risk for heart disease.
Many of these risk factors are lifestyle choices. This means that there are ways to help reduce your risk for heart disease and improve your heart health.
Simple ways to improve heart health
Adopting a heart healthy lifestyle, and making decisions that improve heart health, is a great way to help prevent heart disease. Here are easy 6 ways to improve heart health today!
- Eat a heart healthy diet.
- Manage your cholesterol.
- Exercise every day.
- Limit alcohol consumption.
- Stop smoking.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
Shift the focus from candy hearts to your own heart this Valentine’s Day. Your primary care physician can help you stay on the right track towards good heart health and good overall health. Schedule your appointment with a MANA physician today!