February is American Heart Month! Throughout the month, the American Heart Association (AHA) and other organizations reinforced the importance of heart health, the need for more research and efforts to ensure that millions of people enjoy longer and healthier lives.
According to U.S. News and World Report’s HealthDay News (12/9/2020), heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (National Center for Health Statistics) reports the number of adults with diagnosed heart disease is 30.3 million. Together, we can help improve heart health and make an impact on preventing deaths related to heart disease.
This year, Notre Dame Health Care is recognizing American Heart Month by sharing the AHA’s top 5 tips for preventing heart disease. We’ll be mindful of these tips throughout the year for the health and well-being of our residents, patients, students and employees.
- Stay on top of your health Do you have high blood pressure or diabetes? It’s important to stay on top of keeping these health risk factors in good shape. Blood pressure is a key indicator to the stress being placed on the cardiovascular system and high blood sugar is a high-risk indicator for heart disease and stroke. Keep a watchful eye for any sudden changes and be sure to visit your health provider regularly.
- Be more physically active. Did you know regular physical activity is one of the most effective ways to lower both blood pressure and cholesterol, which are risk factors for heart disease? By putting aside at least 30-minutes a day to get your body moving, you’re one step closer to a healthier heart.
- Eat a healthy diet and maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight can place unnecessary stress on your body and can lead to more health issues. By incorporating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and other healthy foods into your diet, you’re giving your body the fuel it needs to improve both physically and mentally, leading to a healthier heart.
- Eliminate alcohol or smoking. Studies have found that cutting out smoking and limiting alcohol can do wonders for your heart health and can actually cut your risk of coronary heart disease.
- Be more mindful. By increasing feelings of calm and mindfulness through activities such meditation and regular opportunities for shared prayer, reflection and retreat; you are relieving stress and improving your mental health leading to a decrease in blood pressure, chronic fatigue syndrome, and cardiovascular disease.
At Notre Dame Health Care we are committed to encouraging a healthy life-style and routinely practice these helpful tips! We show this commitment to our residents and patients in a number of ways including, but not limited to: offering healthy food choices, exercise classes, Ageless GraceTM (a special exercise program for the body and mind), walking groups, and spiritual offerings such as Mass and Rosary.
We hope you’ll join us in taking steps toward preventing heart disease and improving your heart health throughout the year!