With Valentine’s Day on Monday, everyone knows it’s time to talk about the heart! But not just the chocolate filled one you got for your sweetheart, the one beating in your chest. February is American Heart Month, and in honor of this national health observance, take some time to learn more about cardiovascular disease. This years initiative focuses on the small steps anyone can take toward better heart health.
What Comprises Heart Disease
In the United States, 1 in 4 deaths results from heart disease often making it the leading cause of death for both men and women. Heart disease can include arrhythmias, heart failure, heart attacks and strokes. Out of all the different conditions, coronary artery disease—caused by plaque buildup in the walls of the heart’s arteries—is the most common.
Heart disease is often used interchangeably with cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease typically refers to heart conditions that involve blocked or narrowed blood vessels, which can lead to chest pains, stroke and heart attacks.
Symptoms of Heart Disease
First, it’s most important to know the symptoms of heart disease. Many people don’t know they have a heart condition until they experience a heart attack. Common symptoms of heart disease include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Heart palpitations
How To Prevent Heart Disease
While certain uncontrollable factors like age, sex and family history increase your risk of heart disease, there are steps that anyone can take to help to help prevent heart disease, including:
- Refraining from smoking
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Limiting your sodium intake
- Eating a well-balanced diet
- Exercising regularly
- Managing your stress
- Limiting your alcohol intake
While there are some factors of heart disease you can’t control, taking care of yourself by following these heart-healthy tips can help preserve your heart health for years to come.
Interested in learning more or taking more control of your heart health visit: www.hearthealthysteps.org