American Heart Month – Guide to a Healthy Heart
Today is the Day to Learn to Love Your Heart!
This Valentine’s Month, it’s all about the heart! Many of us are planning the perfect date night to show our partners just how important they are to us and how much we love them. Altus Emergency Centers wants you to pause and pay a little more attention to all of the beautiful hearts in your life, starting with your own.
This year we are partnering with the Million Hearts® initiative to bring awareness of how dangerous and devastating heart disease can be, not just on a personal level but for those we love as well. May this be the February that you learned to love your heart.
Heart Disease Fact Sheet
- Cardiovascular diseases kill over 800,000 Americans every year
- Heart Disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases are responsible for 1 in every 3 deaths
- Heart Disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States
Every 40 Seconds, an American will have a Heart Attack.
- Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease, and it’s responsible for over 370,000 annual deaths
- Every year more than 735,000 Americans suffer a heart attack
- According to studies:
Nearly Two-Thirds of women who die suddenly of coronary heart disease have no previous symptoms.
Sources: CDC & Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics 2018
We all glance over numbers every day like these every day. Instead of a number, see them for what they really are, a mother, father, teacher, co-worker, best friend, classmate, neighbor, grandma, or the person standing right beside you. At Altus Emergency Centers, we’re committed to helping you not become a statistic. Chances are, you are still in time to make the lifestyle changes necessary to keep a healthy heart pumping for much longer.
Safeguarding Your Heart
We’ve all had our hearts broken at some point in our lives, but, as hard as heartbreak can be, we know that in time we will get better and be able to love again. This is not always the case when our hearts get sick, some of us won’t have the luxury of time to heal, which is why we need to start taking better care of our hearts now.
You are always taking care of everyone around you, this month of February make a pledge to start showing yourself some love by making healthier lifestyle and food choices including:
Improve Your Diet
Eat healthier, include more fruits and veggies, choose low-fat dairy products and cut down on the amount of fat you eat.
Fill Up on Fiber
Choose foods that are fiber-rich like oats, whole wheat bread, and beans and legumes. Fiber-rich foods will fill you up more, and they take longer for your digestive system to process, so you will fell fool for a longer time. This will help you eat less and maybe lose a few pounds without having to sacrifice your food intake.
Eat More Fish
Texans love meat, we get it, but try substituting beef for fish at least once or twice a week, a diet rich in Omega-3 fatty acids can help ward off heart disease.
Just like the song says you’ve got to move it, move it. We know you have a busy schedule but only 30 minutes a day of moderate exercise can make a world of difference. You don’t need to go to the gym, a walk around your neighborhood, or some fun dancing around the house or even putting a little more pep into your housework might do the trick.
Cut Down on The Salt
The American diet has an unusually high amount of salt, and a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine found that cutting the amount of salt we consume can significantly lower the number of strokes, coronary heart disease (CHD), and heart attacks.
Smoking is one of the top risk factors for heart disease, and it’s not enough to decrease the number of cigarettes you smoke per day, you need to stop smoking altogether.
Recognizing a Heart Attack
The possibility of a heart attack is real. Heart disease is the leading cause of both men and women in the US. Although medical studies have shown that you can drastically lower your possibility of having a heart attack through lifestyle changes, the odds are still 1 of every 4 people in America die from heart disease. For this reason, another way to help save hearts is to get to know the signs of a heart attack and to take action. While men and women will have different types of symptoms and not all chest pains indicate a heart attack, there are some tell-tale signs that should spark an immediate warning sign.
Here are five of the most common signs of a heart attack:
Pain or Discomfort in Chest
Lightheadedness, Nausea or Vomiting
Jaw, Neck or Back Pain
Discomfort or Pain in Jaw or Shoulder
Shortness of Breath
Time is a major factor, the sooner the better.
The recommended window of time to get treatment for a heart attack is of only two hours away from the first signs as those listed above. If you risk waiting longer, the damage will be greater as the chances of survival will be lowered.
If you or someone you know experiences any of the symptoms listed here, the best thing you can do is have someone bring you to the nearest Altus Emergency Center so we can evaluate you. When it comes to heart attacks and strokes, the faster you get treatment, the greater your chances of recovery and survival will be.
It’s been said that the greatest gift we can give anyone is love, so this Valentine’s Day make a pledge to take better care of your heart so you can be around for many more years to gift love to your friends and family.
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