Many people have hearts on their minds as they move into February. This month not only holds the holiday centered around the celebration of love, Valentine’s Day, but also marks National Heart Month, which is an excellent time to educate yourself and your loved ones about the importance of heart health.
Led by the American Heart Association, this federally designated awareness month sets out to remind people to focus on maintaining healthy hearts and to help raise heart disease awareness with their families, friends and communities.
We place special emphasis on promoting an active lifestyle and a healthy diet because we know how important it is to overall health, especially in regard to the cardiovascular system. It’s also important to make regular visits to your healthcare provider. Early diagnosis of any heart disease or irregularities can help save your life.
While heart disease is the number one killer of both genders, it is important to spread awareness for women as they often do not experience the same symptoms as men, and stressors, specifically around relationships and jobs, tend to affect women at a rate that is about 20% higher than their male counterparts. Throughout the month of February, the staff at Momentum Chiropractic encourages you to educate yourselves on the preventive measures that are easy to implement in your busy lives in hopes of eradicating heart disease and stroke in millions of women all over the nation. These measures can include:
- Don’t smoke! If you are currently smoking or using smokeless tobacco products, talk to your physician about quitting. The risk of heart disease starts to drop in as little as a day after quitting. After a year without cigarettes, the risk of heart disease drops to about half that of a smoker. No matter how long or how much you smoked, you’ll start reaping rewards as soon as you quit.
- Get moving! It can be tough this time of year, because it’s cold, dark, and rainy A LOT. However, movement is key to prevention. While experts advise adults to move between 30-75 minutes per day, any bit of movement you can fit in is better than remaining sedentary. Even shorter bouts of activity offer heart benefits. Just five minutes of moving can help, and activities such as gardening, housekeeping, taking the stairs and walking the dog all count toward your total. You don’t have to exercise strenuously to achieve benefits, but you can see bigger benefits by increasing the intensity, duration and frequency of your workouts.
- Moving more should make you tired, but in a good way! Getting good restful sleep is much more important than we think. People who don’t get enough sleep have a higher risk of obesity, high blood pressure, heart attack, diabetes and depression. Most adults need at least seven hours of sleep each night. Make sleep a priority in your life. Set a sleep schedule and stick to it by going to bed and waking up at the same time each day. Keep your bedroom dark and quiet, so it’s easier to sleep. If you feel like you’ve been getting enough sleep but you’re still tired throughout the day, you may want to talk to your health care provider to see if you need to be evaluated for obstructive sleep apnea, a condition that can increase your risk of heart disease. Sleep isn’t a luxury; it is a necessity!
Throughout this month of love, remember that sharing experiences with the people you love is as important as anything else when it comes to maintaining your health and wellbeing. From all of us at Momentum Chiropractic, we are glad to be a part of your journey to wellness!