Valentine’s Day is behind us, but we’re not done thinking about love—loving your family, loving your friends, and, in honor of February being Heart Health Month, we’re going to talk today about ways that you can love your heart.
Before we talk about the ways to better take care of your heart, let’s take a look at a few of the more surprising facts about it, according to Health.com (Click here for full list):
1. Your heart is your body’s hardest worker, beating over 3 billion times in your life and pumping 2,500 gallons of blood daily.
2. Your lungs aren’t the only organs damaged by pollution, as even low levels of pollution increase your risk for arrhythmias.
3. Heartbreak is a real thing, as times of grief and depression can greatly increase your risk of heart attack.
4. Make a fist with your hand. Your heart is just a touch bigger than that fist.
5. Women typically have faster beating hearts than men.
6. Your heart does not stop when you sneeze. (Myth busted!)
7. Heart risk is the top killer of both sexes.
Now that you understand your heart a little bit better, here are some tips for taking better care of it:
Go to the doctor.
Maintaining a minimum of yearly visits to the doctor is a top priority when it comes to heart health. With your doctor, you can determine your risk for heart problems, as well as the necessary preventive steps to take to keep these risks at a minimum. At your annual visit, your doctor will also be able to detect any irregularities that you may not be able to find on your own.
Follow a healthy diet.
Eat the right nutrients and lean meats, as well as plenty of healthy fats, to help keep your heart healthy and strong.
Forget the stress.
Stressed at work? Turn off your email for intervals during the day, and take the time to disconnect and go for a walk. Finding productive ways to handle stress in all areas of your life is key. Go for a run, read a book, sit outside, find something that is both healthy and relaxing. Keep stress to a minimum to keep your heart happy and healthy!
Smoking is more than a bad habit; it also greatly increases your risk for heart disease. Talk to your doctor about safe ways of quitting, and remember: Your heart health begins improving at the very moment you quit.
Go to the gym, and get that heart pumping! Exercise is a great way to keep your weight down and also to increase your aerobic endurance, both of which are good for your heart. Studies suggest that a great form of exercise for your heart is strength training, so don’t be afraid to swap up your cardio to hit the weights from time to time.
High sodium intake can lead to high blood pressure, which can increase your risk for heart disease. Keep an eye on your salt intake for a healthier heart.
Get your beauty sleep.
Getting plenty of sleep can greatly reduce your risk of heart disease. Aim for at least seven hours every night!
How are you loving your heart this month? Remember, for professional medical guidance and a health plan that works for you, be sure to schedule an appointment with your doctor. But for a health insurance plan that protects you and your loved ones, give your friends at Latorre Insurance a call today at (704) 566-8181.