Heart Health Month

February is American Heart Health Month.  It is a time to spread knowledge of the major risks associated with heart disease and encourage individuals to take steps to lower their risk of heart attack, stroke, and other consequences.

The leading cause of death in America is heart disease, which claims 2,200 lives every day.  According to the Center For Disease Control and Prevention, 6.5 million adults suffer heart failure, and 103 million persons have excessive blood pressure.

The good news is that 80 percent of cardiovascular or heart disorders may be avoided with knowledge and effort, even though genome factors certainly play a role in the development of cardiovascular disease. Small lifestyle modifications can have a significant influence on heart health.

The heart is a vital organ. It moves oxygen-rich blood throughout your body and removes waste and pollutants while supplying nutrients. The upper atriums and lower ventricles are two separate parts. Blood is pumped throughout your body by this system, which also coordinates with other bodily functions to regulate your pulse rate and blood pressure.

The body gains many advantages from having a healthy heart, including the prophylaxis of chronic diseases and conditions like cancer and dementia.  Cardiovascular disease is the main cause of death for both men and women.

Despite the worrisome figures, remain calm.  Based on research, altering your way of life can significantly lower your risk.

Here are a few things you can do to avoid cardiovascular disease: quit smoking including e-cigarettes which is responsible for lung carcinoma in young adults; maintain a healthy weight; have a healthy diet which includes avoiding trans fats; and start moving more. For your other medical issues, especially diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol, seek professional medical attention.

The important message is that your lifestyle significantly affects your risk of cardiovascular disease.  Your daily actions and way of life have the power to genuinely alter the course of your life.  It is critical to start small when adjusting to a healthy lifestyle, and it is never too late to start a healthy exercise or eating regimen.

You do not have to start running marathons right away, but even a simple daily walk around your neighborhood for fifteen to thirty minutes will improve your health.  As a society, we ought to be cautious and give up our sedentary culture which is very harmful to health. 

It is okay to advise students or employees to stand up from their desks every hour for a short period and move around.

Also, contrary to popular belief, you may stay active without going to the gym or working out a lot.  Aerobic activity, such as walking, jogging, or biking has been demonstrated to improve cognition and brain function in adults of all ages in addition to its physical benefits. 

Consuming healthy whole foods and limiting the intake of sugary beverages can help a lot along with avoiding fried and processed foods. Whole foods are extremely beneficial to the body in terms of function helping to stabilize blood sugar levels and lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Steamed veggies with lean protein, like chicken or fish, whole wheat pasta with vegetables, and snacks like nuts or an apple with lightly sweetened nut butter are all good options. 

The Harvard School of Public Health in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has compiled a sizable collection of scientific literature that describes the physical harm caused by negative emotions. Serious, ongoing stress or anxiety can change biological processes in a way that ultimately leads to “wear and tear” and diseases like heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

Persistent rage and anxiety can alter the electrical stability of the heart, speed up atherosclerosis, and increase systemic inflammatory response which means reducing stress can also make a huge difference in heart health.

There is a vast body of scientific research linking persistent psychological stress to cardiac disease. According to one of these studies, those who experience ongoing stress at work or at home are twice as likely to experience a heart attack. People with cognitive health issues such as depression also run a higher risk due to inflammation in the body. It is suggested that you first try to alter your lifestyle with medication being the very last resort. 

Everyone should destress by relaxing, taking life one step at a time, practicing better sleep hygiene, breathing, and smiling.  In reference to cognitive health, you can always call, text, or chat with someone if you need emergency cognitive health assistance. Second, consider seeking advice from a counselor, therapist, or even your doctor. There are possibly affordable or free solutions in your community like the NDSU Counseling Center.  

Your lifestyle, family history, and medical history are all factors that influence how well your heart functions.  However, by leading a healthier lifestyle, one can prevent and reduce their risk of developing heart disease.

By taking good care of your heart and listening to your body as well as feeding it a healthy diet, you can keep blood pressure and glucose levels within the normal range, reversing any internal malfunctions that could increase the risk of heart attacks and other conditions related to cardiovascular health.

Since your heart functions similarly to a car’s engine, maintaining heart health is crucial. 

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