February is American Heart Month. Here are seven tips for a healthy heart from the American Heart Association for you to share and discuss with your patients.
1. Plan your meals and snacks. Eating a healthy breakfast and allocating more calories earlier in the day reduces cardiovascular disease risk. People who skip breakfast are more likely to be obese, have inadequate nutrition, show evidence of impaired glucose metabolism or be diagnosed with diabetes
2. Work up a sweat. To improve overall cardiovascular health, the AHA suggests 30 minutes of moderate exercise, five days per week. You can even divide this time into two or three segments of 10 to 15 minutes per day.
3. Start small. Walking is the simplest positive change you can make to improve your heart health. In addition to reducing heart disease and stroke risks, walking also improves blood pressure, enhances your mental well-being, and reduces risk for breast and colon cancer.
4. Quit smoking. Almost one third of deaths from coronary heart disease are from smoking and secondhand smoke.
5. Know how much fat and sodium your body can tolerate. The AHA has a fat and sodium calculator on its website which analyzes your age, weight and activity level to determine your suggested calorie intake.
6. Reduce the amount of stress in your life. Here are ten suggestions to fight stress with healthy habits, including physical activity, quality sleep, and even the benefits of laughing.
7. Know the warning signs. Early detection of a heart attack can save lives, and men and women often present differently when experiencing a heart attack.
By amplifying tips like these through PatientPoint digital and mobile solutions, physicians can help patients maintain a healthy heart.