February Is American Heart Month

February is American Heart Month: Take the Steps Towards a Healthier Heart

Feb 14, 2024Arterial Disease, Vascular Disease

As February rolls around, it’s important to remember the significance of this month in promoting heart health. American Heart Month 2024 is not just a time for awareness but taking active steps towards a healthier heart.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States- one American dies every 36 seconds from heart disease. Your heart is the engine of your body. It pumps oxygen throughout your body and keeps everything going smoothly. February is American Heart Month, and it is the perfect time to start taking a proactive approach to your heart’s health. 

Know Your Heart

Understanding the function and importance of the cardiovascular system is crucial. It is responsible for pumping blood throughout the body, supplying oxygen and nutrients to tissues, and removing carbon dioxide and other waste.

Vascular disease refers to any condition affecting the network of blood vessels in your body, which is known as your vascular system. The term “vascular” comes from a Latin word for hollow container; if your entire network of blood vessels were stretched end-to-end, they could circle the Earth multiple times.

Vessels that transport blood is a vital part of the circulatory system. Your heart beats, sending blood through arteries and veins that supply oxygen and nutrients to tissues and carry away waste products.

Lymph vessels and lymph nodes are part of a separate cleaning system that helps rid your body of damaged cells. They also help protect you from infections and cancer by collecting fluid from tissues throughout your body, draining back into veins under your collarbones.

Early detection and intervention of heart disease can help prevent long-term health complications. Therefore, it’s crucial to understand the symptoms of heart issues which may include chest discomfort, shortness of breath, lightheadedness, and cold sweats.

Don’t hesitate to seek immediate medical attention if you or someone else shows these symptoms.

Steps Towards a Healthy Heart

Most vascular diseases can actually be prevented altogether through lifestyle changes.

There is no bad time of year to start leading a healthier lifestyle, but Heart Month is a great time to do it! Heart Month encourages us to keep our bodies healthy, and there are lots of different ways to get started.

Implement some of the lifestyle choices below to begin taking a proactive approach to your heart health. Even if you cannot do it all at once, gradual changes can help reduce your risk of heart disease. 

  1. Regular Exercise
    Make regular physical activity a part of your routine. Engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise most days of the week. This could be anything from brisk walking to cycling, or swimming.
  2. Healthy Eating
    Consuming a nutrient-rich diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and healthy fats can promote heart health. Limit intake of processed foods, saturated fats, and excessive salt or sugar.
  3. Routine Health Checks
    Regular health checks, including assessment of blood pressure, cholesterol level, and blood glucose level, play a vital role in keeping your heart healthy. These checks can help detect potential risks early.
  4. Manage Stress
    Chronic stress can wreak havoc on your heart health. Therefore, engaging in stress management activities such as mindfulness, yoga, deep breathing exercises, or even pursuing a hobby can help maintain a healthy heart.
  5. Avoid Smoking
    If you smoke, take steps to quit. Smoking damages your heart and blood vessels, leading to an array of potential cardiovascular complications.
  6. Limit Alcohol
    Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to high blood pressure and other heart problems. It’s recommended to consume alcohol in moderation.
  7. Maintain a Healthy Weight
    Being overweight can increase your risk of heart disease. Focus on maintaining a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise.

Be Proactive in Your Heart Health

There is no better time than the present!

Celebrate American Heart Month this February by making healthier lifestyle choices each day. Try to eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly, and work on maintaining healthy habits every day. 

Call Coastal Vascular Center today for any questions about your vascular health!

Health-related information on CoastalVascular.net is for educational purposes only and, therefore not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.