Let’s begin by asking a generalized question - How familiar are you with your heart and its functionality? February is Heart Disease Awareness month, but spreading awareness about the disease is not only limited to this specific month. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., which is an umbrella term that includes atherosclerosis, heart attack, stroke, heart failure, arrhythmia, and heart valve problems. Heart disease can affect a person of any age, so learning about prevention tips and implementing them into your life can be beneficial.
Although we lack the power to change some risk factors, we can start by making small life choices like a healthy eating plan and being more physically active. The American Heart Association breaks down prevention tips by age groups. See where you fall and what you need to being doing to help reduce your risk for heart disease.
In your 20’s:
- Have regular wellness exams
- Be physically active
- Don’t smoke and avoid secondhand smoke
In your 30’s:
- Make heart healthy living a family affair
- Know your family history
- Tame your stress
In your 40’s:
- Watch your weight
- Have your blood pressure checked
- Don’t brush off snoring (sleep apnea can lead to high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke)
In your 50’s:
- Eat a healthy diet
- Learn the warning signs of a heart attack and stroke
- Follow your treatment plan
In your 60’s and beyond:
The bottom line is to change your unhealthy behaviors - clean up your dietary patterns, get active, and don’t put off your necessary doctor appointments. The risk of heart disease increases as you age, so the earlier you are aware, the better.
The staff in your corporate fitness center would be more than happy to help you get started with an exercise routine and are available for consultations. They are there to help and guide you, as well as get you familiarized with what is offered in your fitness center. These are just the basic guidelines to a happy and healthy heart!
The first Friday in the month of February is National Wear Red Day. Help bring awareness by wearing red to show your support.