If you come into an Open Door Clinic, you may see a wall filling up with hearts!
February is Heart Health Month and we are inviting patients and visitors to share your thoughts about heart health and what you are doing (or plan to do) this year to support your heart health.
A Young Person’s Disease
National trends show heart disease death rates are declining more slowly than they have in the past, especially among adults ages 35 to 64.
In many communities across the U.S., death rates are actually increasing among adults in this age group, according to recent research. Not only are more younger adults dying of heart disease, but their rates of risk factors—such as physical inactivity, tobacco use, and hypertension—are also increasing.
Here are some of our tips for heart health:
- Know Your Numbers
Maintaining a healthy blood pressure reduces the likelihood of heart attack, stroke, cardiovascular disease, and kidney disease. Talk to your care team about your numbers, tips and habits for a healthy blood pressure, and home monitoring.
- Take Charge
If you have high blood pressure, you have the power to take charge of your health. Tracking your blood pressure and taking your blood pressure medication, as recommended by your provider, can greatly improve your health and quality of life.
- Minimize Alcohol
Try to minimize alcohol consumption to no more than 2 drinks per day for men or 1 drink per day for women. Substitute a carbonated, non-alcoholic beverage in a cocktail glass, at social events, or fill free time with new, healthy hobbies and relationships.
- Potassium is a Hidden Hero
Potassium helps counter the effects of sodium and may help lower your blood pressure. Try incorporating foods with potassium into your diet: potatoes, sweet potatoes, greens, tomatoes, white beans, kidney beans, non-fat yogurt, oranges, bananas and cantaloupe.
- Aim For Lucky Number 7
Studies show that seven hours of sleep a night reduces the risk of heart disease. Next time you’re tempted to stay up late, remember how comfy that pillow will feel – and how good a full night’s sleep is for your heart.
- Energize Your Life
Take a short walk before breakfast, after dinner… or both! Take a break from your desk during the day and walk around the building. Start with 5-10 minutes per day and work your way up to 30 minutes per day.
- Make Every Drop Count
Choose water, or skim/low-fat milk instead of soda or juice. Add fun fruits and veggies (like organge, berries, cucumber or lime) to some bubbly water. Make it a goal to add at least on 8oz. glass of water to your day.
- Reconnect with an Old Friend: Fiber
Eat more fruits and vegetables that are good sources of fiber, like beans, broccoli, peas, avocados, apples, oranges, bananas, strawberries and oatmeal.