February is the month known for celebrating things from the heart, however do you know if your heart is at risk? The American Heart Association claims that nearly 2400 Americans die from cardiovascular disease every day. It appears that cardiovascular disease has become an imminent problem in our society. As the obesity rates continue to rise, the risk of cardiovascular heart disease increases as well. The good news is that there are steps a person can take to reduce the risk of cardiovascular heart disease. I have listed a few below, of course before taking any action always consult with your primary care physician before doing anything.
1. Relax – Numerous studies show that there is a direct correlation between heart health and the stress hormone, cortisol. Each person relaxes in a different way, however some suggestions would be to get a massage, take a hot bath, exercise, watch a movie, or read your favorite book or magazine.
2. Consume an alcoholic beverage – This does not mean that you should consume massive amounts of alcohol, like you were back in college. It has been shown by researchers that consuming 1 alcoholic beverage per day can reduce your risk for cardiovascular heart disease.
3. Take care of your gums by flossing daily – The importance of good dental hygiene is shown in a variety of medical journals. People who have gum disease are twice as likely to have cardiovascular heart disease. Make sure you visit your dentist at least twice a year to maintain good dental health.
4. Stop being a fast food junkie – Fast food is usually unhealthy and can cause havoc on your heart. When going to a fast food chain, try to pick things that are grilled vs. breaded. Also, ask for a whole wheat bun or wrap if it is available and you don’t have any digestive restrictions.
5. Become active – Most people are sitting for a good portion of the work day and then leave to go home and sit some more. A great way to work and exercise is to buy the Treadmill Desk by Lifespan. It allows individuals to trade in their traditional desk for one that they can be active at their workstation. The top is large enough to put your computer and phone on. It is also adjustable to your height and has adjustable speeds. Try to shoot for 10,000 steps a day and you will be amazed at how it reduces your risk for heart disease. If you are looking for exercise once you leave the office, the gym is a great way to burn some calories and detox after a hard day.
6. Try losing a few pounds – The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute says dropping just 10% of your current weight will lower your risk of heart disease and other disorders. The best way to do this is to reduce the amount of calories you consume and increase your exercise activity level. Eating several small meals will also keep your blood sugar in check and help with cravings. Before beginning any exercise program always consult your physician and once you have the ok head to the gym. One of the biggest mistakes people make is doing too much too soon. Start just by walking on the treadmill or performing some strength training. Start off with 2 to 3 days a week of exercise and allow your body the other days to rest. If you have any other questions you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.