February is American Heart Month! With more than 67 million Americans suffering from high blood pressure, it is extremely important to pay attention to your heart health. Here at BEK Medical, we recommend using this month to make some small changes that can have significant results.
Here are a few tips to help maintain a healthy heart and lifestyle:
Skip the Salt
One simple way to improve the health of your heart and your entire body is to reduce your sodium intake. According to the American Heart Association, the average American consumes about 3,400 milligrams of sodium a day, even though the goal level of sodium consumption is 1,500 milligrams.
How can you reduce your salt intake? Prepare meals at home instead of going out to eat, use spices to season your food instead of salt, and cut out sugary beverages like soda from your diet. By paying closer attention to the food you put into your body, you will be able to monitor your sodium intake and maintain a more heart-healthy lifestyle.
Another key component of a healthy heart is regular aerobic exercise, which can be as simple as taking a walk around your neighborhood each day. Walk with your spouse or a neighborhood friend or bring Fido along with you to get some exercise too.
For retired seniors who are looking to stay healthy, volunteering is a wonderful way to stay active. Whether you head to your local soup kitchen to serve a meal or take shelter dogs for their afternoon walk, this positive commitment will boost your spirits and help to keep your heart in good health.
Incorporate Heart-Healthy Foods
Diet plays a major role in heart health and can potentially impact your risk of heart disease. It is best to eat foods that help aid in enhancing your hearth health.
Although it is an incredibly tough habit to quit, it is never too late! Smoking cigarettes can negatively impact all of your organs over time. Research has shown that smoking increases heart rate, tightens arteries, and can create an irregular heartbeat. In addition to this, the ingredients in cigarettes like tar and carbon monoxide can lead to a buildup of plaque around your heart. This makes your heart work harder and can potentially lead to a heart attack or stroke. There are many ways to begin the journey to quit smoking. Check out these tips from Web MD!
Reduce Stress with Hobbies
Stress can impact your overall health. Chronic stress exposes your body to elevated levels of hormones, which can be linked to blood clots and increased risk of a heart attack. To help reduce stress, try taking on a hobby that helps you relax. There are a variety of hobbies you can do.
Here are a few ideas:
- Crocheting/ Knitting
- Low impact hiking
Visit Your Doctor
Regular checkups are an important way to maintain a healthy heart, especially as we age. High blood pressure often shows no symptoms, making regular screenings a necessity. Have a screening performed during your next doctor’s visit or stop by your local drugstore to have the test performed.
We hope these tips will help you improve your heart health this month and moving forward!
Interested in monitoring your blood pressure at home? BEK Medical offers a wide variety of digital blood pressure monitors and sphygmomanometer kits to ensure your blood pressure is in check. Shop with us online or at one of our two Texas locations.