It’s me, Clarity Claire with a topic very near and dear to my heart… Heart Health! Your heart is one of your most vital organs. It’s responsible for carrying blood throughout your body so that all of your organs can function properly. Talk about big shoes to fill!
Because the heart is such an essential organ, it’s important to ensure your body is properly caring for your heart. And what better time to raise awareness about heart health than February–American Heart Month!
Let’s have a heart-to-heart chat about American Heart Month, why heart health should be one of your priorities this year, and heart health tips.
What is American Heart Month?
Let’s start with a little history lesson. In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson designated February as the first American Heart Month. The first Friday of February is also celebrated as “National Wear Red Day,” an initiative created by the American Heart Association to bring awareness about heart disease.
According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the number one leading cause of death for adults in the United States. In fact, every year, more than 600.000 Americans die from heart disease alone. That’s approximately one person every 34 seconds.
As the number one cause of death for most groups, heart disease affects all ages, genders, and ethnicities. That’s why it’s so important to take the time to understand where your heart health is today and what factors in your life might be contributing to your health.
Some common risk factors that can contribute to heart disease include high cholesterol, high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, and excessive alcohol use. While many of these are based on lifestyle choices, genetics also play an important role in determining your heart health.
Tips to Keep Your Heart Healthy
When it comes to keeping your ticker in tip-top shape, there are many simple things we can do! Let’s break these heart health tips down.
Your heart health is directly impacted by your overall health. When you ensure your body is well-nourished and active, it can play a big role in safeguarding your heart health. If you’re looking to improve or maintain positive heart health, consider the following:
- Eat a well-balanced and nutrient-dense diet.
- Perform some physical activity at least once a day.
- Monitor your cholesterol and blood pressure.
While it may not seem to be related, your emotional and mental health play a direct role in your heart health. Carrying too much stress, anxiety or anger can actually increase blood pressure and heart rate, which can weaken artery walls and contribute to heart disease. To best protect your heart, consider the following:
- Maintain positive self-care activities.
- Manage stress levels and develop positive coping mechanisms.
- Practice mindfulness to ensure a calm and level head.
Hey… When Was your Last Check-Up?
Now, all of these heart health tips are great ways you can improve or maintain your heart health over time. But nothing can ever be as accurate as getting the opinion of your healthcare provider to keep your heart healthy.
When it comes to keeping your heart healthy, knowledge is power. Something as simple as getting a cholesterol screening at your yearly physical can help put your heart health into perspective. In the new year, remember to schedule your routine physicals to know where your health stands and what course of action is best for your body.
And while I may be an expert in employee benefits, it’s always best to consult with your physician before making any big lifestyle changes. They can help monitor your physical and emotional health so you can ensure you’re making the decisions that are right for your body.
Benefits From the Heart
At Clarity Benefit Solutions, we understand that you often make some of your biggest life decisions “from the heart.” That’s why it’s so important to champion heart health not only during American Heart Month but all year round with a benefits package that best suits your needs!