February – American Heart Month

Angie Szumlinski Health, Health, News

Did you know that February is designated as “American Heart Month”? With so many “causes” including fund raisers, “National Donut Month”, “National Taco Day”, etc. isn’t it great that we have a month that focuses on identifying risk factors for heart disease, treatment options and most importantly, recommendations for improving lifestyle!

Chances are, we all know someone affected by heart disease and stroke, because about 2,300 Americans die of cardiovascular disease each day, an average of 1 death every 38 seconds.

As healthcare professionals, we assess, evaluate and manage residents with chronic medical conditions including cardiovascular disease. However, are we managing our own health and the health of our loved ones by maintaining a healthy lifestyle? The biggest part of living healthy comes down to simply making healthy choices. While you can’t change things like age and family history, the good news is that even modest changes to your diet and lifestyle can improve your heart health and lower your risk by as much as 80 percent. Okay, we know that exercise, limiting sodium and alcohol, increasing healthy fiber and lean protein, losing weight, starting a smoking cessation program, etc., can be challenging and somewhat daunting at the beginning. But as with any lifestyle change, we need to make these things a part of our life and not view it as punishment! Look at the statistics, 80% decrease in risk just by making some healthier lifestyle choices, don’t you think that would be worth it?

As if these statistics aren’t troubling enough, did you know that Cardiovascular diseases including strokes claim the lives of about one woman every 80 seconds in the United States? This number is  troubling especially since a large percentage of health care providers are female and statistics show that about 80% of cardiovascular diseases may be preventable with education and action!

Together we can change these statistics! Take care of yourself so that you are healthy enough to live your mission of caring for others! Thank you to the American Heart Association for the article links below and if you need additional information on heart health please go to:  http://newsroom.heart.org/events/february-is-american-heart-month-6669831