February 19th, 2013
On February 1st, the American Heart Association kicked off the month with National Wear Red Day to raise awareness about the number one killer of women in this country – heart disease.
Did you know that heart disease kills more women than all the cancers combined!? A lot of people think of heart disease as an “old man’s” disease, but that’s just not the case.
To help the AHA in its quest to fight heart disease, we put together a list of some simple steps you can take to keep your ticker strong and improve your overall heart health.
- Quit smoking and avoid second hand smoke. According to the AHA, smoking is one of the most preventable causes of premature death. The benefits of quitting smoking can be seen after just 20 minutes! If you want to live a long life—you can’t smoke. Period.
- Know these numbers. When it comes to your heart health, it’s really important to know the following numbers:
- Cholesterol – You can be in peak physical condition but still have high cholesterol. That’s because in addition to diet causing high cholesterol, it can also be inherited. According to the Mayo Clinic, “It’s important to keep your cholesterol levels within healthy limits. If you have other risk factors for developing heart disease, you need to be even more careful — especially with your low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad,” cholesterol level.” This is why it’s so important to find out and discuss your cholesterol levels with your doctor.
- Blood Pressure – Blood pressure is determined by the amount of blood your heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in your arteries. Overall, the more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure. Here is a chart of healthy ranges for blood pressure.
- Weight – People who are overweight or obese are at a greater risk for heart disease and other related illnesses. Your doctor will be able to tell you if your weight is under, normal, over or if you are in the obese range. Further, your doc can give you a better idea of how to lose weight and get back in a healthy range. To determine your body mass index or measure of body fat based on height and weight check a online BMI Calculator.
- Watch your salt intake. According to the Heart Association, 97 percent of Americans are getting more than twice the amount they should be getting, and our average daily intake of more than 3,400 mg contributes to cardiovascular disease, stroke, kidney stones, asthma, osteoporosis and gastric cancer. Avoid processed foods. Take the salt shaker off the table. And fill your diet with whole fruits, vegetables, grains and lean proteins.
- Get physical. In your life, your heart will do more work than any muscle in your body. So it goes without saying that exercise is so important. In general, aim to get about 30 minutes of moderate exercise in each day. Your body needs strength training and cardiovascular exercise. Don’t know where to start? Our coaching staff can recommend an exercise regimen that can fit your lifestyle. Think exercise is boring? Try something new like spinning, Barre class, yoga, Gravity or TRX. Group classes are a great way to shake things up.
A healthy heart starts with a healthy lifestyle. At Hive Lifespan, we have a knowledgeable staff of trainers and nutritionists who can work with you to meet your unique health, wellness and fitness goals. A small step each day can result in a healthy and long life.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health.
Sources used to write this article:
7 Resolutions to Improve Heart Health in 2013
Cholesterol levels: What numbers should you aim for?
Healthy Blood Pressure