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A Healthy Heart

heart made up of fruits and vegetables

February is American Heart Health Month. According to the most recent information from the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.

In fact, there is a heart-related death every 36 seconds, making for a toll of approximately 655,000 heart-related deaths each year. To put this in perspective, heart disease is responsible for 1 in 4 deaths, cancer is responsible for 1 in 6 deaths, and covid-19 is responsible for 1 in 1000 deaths.

Heart disease is an equal opportunity health problem affecting both men and women of all ages and ethnicities. The good news is that we can reduce our risk of heart disease by adopting heart-healthy habits.

First, get plenty of sleep.

Sleep deprivation can lead to a host of physical and mental ailments, including atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, and heart failure.

Avoid smoking.

Smoking cigarettes, even as few as two per day, can affect your circulation. This causes your heart to work harder and your blood pressure to rise. Smoking, even secondhand smoke can cause heart disease and strokes.

Monitor your health.

Keeping an eye on your cholesterol, weight, and blood pressure can help you make smart decisions.

Keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Daily flossing and brushing helps to prevent gum disease, which is linked to heart attacks and strokes. There is also a possible correlation to excess plaque on teeth and excess plaque in arteries. Regular visits to the dentist may not seem important to your heart, but they can make a big difference to your overall health.

Stay at a healthy weight.

Obesity is linked with numerous health conditions including hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes—all affecting heart health.

Know the symptoms:

*Pain, pressure, or an uncomfortable fullness in the middle of your chest.

*Sharp pain in your shoulders and neck spreading into your arms.

*A tight feeling in your chest accompanied by dizziness, sweating, difficulty in breathing, and feeling nauseous.

*Sudden weakness and palpitations without obvious cause.

You may need to make lifestyle changes to improve your health. Walking for at least thirty minutes each day and practicing yoga each week, along with healthy diet changes, may be all you need to turn your health outlook around.


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