Participate in American Heart Month With These 6 Healthy Activities

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Every year, one in four people will die from heart disease, claiming nearly 700,000 lives a year.  Globally, cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death. You can adopt a healthy lifestyle to prevent heart disease during American Heart Month, and beyond.

It is possible for anyone to develop heart disease, but certain individuals might be at a greater risk. According to the American Heart Association, February is American Heart Month. Participate in American heart month with these 6 healthy activities below.

6 Heart Healthy Activities to adopt in American Health Month

In the United States, cardiovascular disease kills one person every 34 seconds. A proper preventative care program could have prevented many of these deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Heart disease can be prevented by eating healthily, exercising, and changing your lifestyle. American Heart Month is a great time to adopt healthy habits, so here are 6 heart-healthy lifestyle activities you can do to achieve that goal.

Exercise

American Heart Month healthy activities.
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Physical activity is one of the best ways to improve heart health. In order to stay healthy, individuals should exercise moderately for at least 150 minutes per week, according to the American Heart Association.

This means a 40-minute brisk walk four to five days per week could go a long way to benefit your heart and overall physical health. Even though this may seem daunting, you can break up the sessions into two or three 10-15 minute segments throughout the day. Jogging, swimming and running are a few aerobic exercises that may interest you too.

If you have limited time to exercise, you may need to choose the stairs or park farther back in the parking lot in order to squeeze in some exercise.

Eat a Heart-Healthy Diet

6 Heart Healthy Activities to adopt in American Health Month

One of the conscious efforts you can make for yourself is adopting a healthy eating diet. Healthy diets help to prevent many diseases. Limit saturated fats, salt, and cholesterol-containing foods, such as fatty meats, and consume plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. 

Heart “superfoods” like salmon, nuts, berries, and oats may help reduce the risk of atherosclerosis. Dark chocolate, in moderation, is also on the list and is a great way to satisfy a sweet tooth.

Get Better Sleep

American Heart Month healthy activities.
Image source: Freepik

The quality of your sleep is critical to your health. The benefits of good sleep extend not only to your physical health but also to your brain function. It is generally recommended that you sleep between seven to nine hours per night. 

The functions of the immune system, the brain, the metabolism, and the emotional state are all enhanced by sleep. Additionally, if you’re fatigued during the day, it’s ideal to take one to two naps. A 15–30 minute sleep is acceptable.

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Reduce Stress Factors

American Heart Month healthy activities.
Image source: Freepik

According to studies, stress can compound many heart disease risks that older adults already face, like high blood pressure. 

Cortisol levels rise under stressful conditions, which causes weight gain, a major risk factor for heart disease. Stress can also trigger other bad habits, which makes it challenging to maintain a heart-healthy program. In addition to lowering general enjoyment, stress also raises the danger of anxiety and depression. 

This American Heart Month, take the time to find healthy outlets like appreciating the beauty of nature to relieve stress and lower your risk of heart disease. You can also visit the gallery, art centres, museums or the beach.

Smile

American Heart Month healthy activities.
Image source: Freepik

A happy heart is a healthy heart. Making time for fun pursuits and pastimes reduces stress and elevates mood, laying the groundwork for a lifestyle that is heart-healthy.

Find every reason, whether good or bad to smile as much as you can. Smiling with someone could be a solution to their depressing state this American heart month. 

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Reduce Your Alcohol Intake 

American Heart Month healthy activities.
Image source: Freepik

Drinking too much alcohol can make heart disease-related health issues including high blood pressure, arrhythmias, and high cholesterol worse. Instead, drink enough water daily.

It’s also time to stop smoking if you still do. Living a smoke-free lifestyle has several advantages, including increased energy, better circulation, and a lower risk of developing certain forms of cancer. Smokers harm their lungs.

What Not to Do This American Heart Month

Stressing Yourself

Stress can be the first sign of many ailments, including high blood pressure, even though it may seem modest. Stress can also trigger other bad habits, making it more difficult to maintain a heart-healthy routine. Additionally, stress can lower overall happiness and raise the danger of anxiety and depression.

By all means, try to cut back on your stress during this American Heart Month.

Abusing alcohol

Living a sober lifestyle has a lot of advantages. Alcohol addiction is linked to almost all diseases. Take alcohol out of your routine permanently for a healthy life during American Heart Month.

Smoking

Smoking is the largest preventable cause of early death in the United States. Americans who smoke are more likely to suffer from a variety of chronic illnesses, such as atherosclerosis, which is the buildup of fatty materials in the arteries.

Smoking raises the risks associated with other factors related to heart disease.

Eating Junk food

Apart from all the above, quit eating junk foods such as fast foods that contain a lot of calories. Instead, incorporate healthy eating habits this American heart month. 

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What is Heart Disease?

American Heart Month healthy activities.
Image source: Freepik

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, defines heart disease as a range of conditions affecting the heart. 

Heart disease can be caused by irregular heartbeats, referred to as arrhythmias, and blood vessel diseases such as coronary artery disease, heart valve disease, and heart muscle disease, or you may be born with a heart condition.

Cardiovascular disease (CAD), which affects blood flow to the heart, is the most common form of heart disease in the United States. It is possible to suffer a heart attack when blood flow is reduced.

What are The Symptoms Of Heart Disease?

Heart disease comes in a variety of ways, but they all have similar symptoms and warning indications. To ensure that you obtain prompt medical evaluation and care, it’s critical to understand these symptoms. Among the signs of an emergency are:

  • Chest pain, discomfort or uncomfortable pressure in the chest
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain in the upper body, arms, back, neck, jaw or upper stomach
  • Feeling nauseous or vomiting
  • Sweating; or cold sweats
  • Weakness, light-headedness, feeling faint or dizzy
  • Feeling very full or having indigestion
  • Fatigue or exhaustion
  • An irregular heartbeat, palpitations, or increased heart rate

5 Facts About Heart Disease

Some of the most common risk factors for heart disease include High blood pressure, High cholesterol, Diabetes, Obesity, Poor diet, Inactive lifestyle, Cigarette smoking, and excessive alcohol consumption.

Below are five interesting facts about heart disease. 

Heart Attacks May Not Be Visible

One out of every five heart attacks is undetected by the victim, mostly happening when the least unexpected. 

Heart Attacks in Women Are Varied 

Symptoms of a heart attack in women may be different from those in men. These include nausea, exhaustion, shortness of breath, vomiting, and discomfort in the back, arm, neck, or shoulder.

Young Women Are at Greater Risk

American Heart Month healthy activities.
Image source: Freepik

Compared to men in the same age range, women under 50 have twice as high a risk of dying from a heart attack. 

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A Heart Attack is Likely to Occur on a Monday

Monday mornings are riskier than other days of the week for heart attacks. The interruption of our circadian rhythm over the weekend, which results in elevated blood pressure and other changes to the nervous system, is blamed by scientists for this. 

Diet Soda Increases The Risk of Heart Attack

If you drink one or more diet sodas per day, your chance of having a heart attack is 43% higher than if you just drink regular soda or none at all.

In honor of American Heart Month, we encourage you to take good care of your body as you age, reducing your risk of developing heart disease and other health problems. The time is never too late to lead a healthy lifestyle and reduce your heart disease risk!

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Sedi Djentuh
Sedi Djentuh
Hey, Sedi here, a content writer. She's fascinated by the interplay between people, lifestyle, relationships, tech and communication dedicated to empowering and spreading positive messages about humanity. She's an avid reader and a student of personal weekly workouts. When she's not writing, Sedi is busy advocating for plastic-free earth with her local NGO.

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