According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in every 3 Americans has hypertension. That's fancy talk for uncontrolled high blood pressure. 33% is an alarming stat for an invisible, life-changing condition that could impact lives for the worse.
And that's precisely why organizations, outlets, and communities rally each February to spread the word on heart health all month long.
Why does heart health matter? Your heart is the driving force of the circulatory system and is responsible for pumping blood and oxygen throughout the entire body. An unhealthy heart means a compromised entirety. So when it comes to heart health, high blood pressure, unhealthy habits, unmanaged stress, and other negative factors can add up to a very dangerous equation.
Put simply, it's impossible to have a healthy life without a healthy heart.
What damages the heart? Unfortunately, there are many things that negatively affect the heart. Fortunately, many of them are controllable:
Unmanaged stress levels and anxiety
Low levels of exercise and physical exertion
How to keep your heart healthy In addition to routine doctor visits to investigate your baseline readings and changes over time, it's also important to explore your family history. As stated above, genetics can signal the likelihood of many cardiac (heart) diseases and conditions. Some are unavoidable, but many healthy habits and practices may maintain a healthy heart for years to come.
Speak to a dietician about a heart-healthy diet
Hire a physical trainer or join a gym
Practice visualization, meditation, and mindfulness to curb stress
Mitigate alcohol consumption and do not use tobacco
And don't forget to spread the word. We can all get involved this month to spread awareness and healthy habits. Talk to your family. Tell a neighbor. Share some tips at work. Or schedule your own doctor visit this February. The fight for better hearts can be won together!