February is Heart Month
February is all about hearts, but not just the candy kind. February is nationally recognized as American Heart Month — a time to turn our attention to keeping families and communities free from heart disease, the No. 1 killer of Americans.
According to the American Heart Association, cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke combined) kills about 2,300 a day. Obesity in both youth and adults is at an all-time high, youth are being diagnosed with heart disease earlier than ever. American Heart Month is vital for awareness, but the American Heart Association urges people to care for their heart health year-round.
During February, show your heart some love by keeping a log of your blood pressure and cholesterol, healthy weight goals, and physical activity. Team up with your family and friends to reach your heart health goals together. Follow these tips to combat the risk of heart disease:
Understand your risk. Some risk factors like age, genes, gender and race or ethnicity cannot be changed, but others are acquired from your lifestyle. Learning and understanding the difference can help you prevent heart disease.
If you smoke, quit now! This can be the hardest step, but with a proper plan, identifying triggers and distraction techniques, quitting is possible. Look for online support or talk to your care provider.
Get the blood pumping with a good workout. Regular exercise has many benefits beyond just physical health. Exercise reduces stress, releases endorphins, improves sleep and much more. Customize your workouts by doing something you enjoy like walking, cycling, or swimming.
Eat a well-balanced diet. Similar to exercise, maintaining a healthy diet can benefit your overall health. Aim to eat more vegetables (frozen or fresh) and lean protein (grilled chicken, salmon, turkey breast, etc.) with each meal. Snacks count too, so grab an apple or some veggie sticks and hummus before opening a bag of potato chips.
Take control of your heart health. Establishing a relationship with your physician is an important step to better manage your health. Discuss your family history of heart disease, your blood pressure and cholesterol numbers, plus any questions you have about new products or data you have researched. Once you’ve established a strong relationship with your doctor, follow the doctor’s orders – whether that is to lose weight, eat a balanced diet or take your prescription. If you have concerns or side effects, it’s important to address these with your doctor.
Your risk of heart disease can be reduced with healthy choices. Small adjustments that you work on every day can have a big payoff.
Learn the importance of screenings and how to optimize your heart health so you don’t miss a beat! Join Saum Shamimi-Noori, MD, Penn Cardiology, on Thursday, February 4, at our FREE VIRTUAL SEMINAR to learn ways to prevent heart disease and improve heart health. Register for Chestnut Hill Hospital virtual wellness programs at: CHWellnessEvents.com.
The first Friday of the month, February 5, is National Wear Red Day. You can help raise awareness and show your support by wearing RED!
Located in the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia and a member of Tower Health, Chestnut Hill Hospital is a 148-bed, community-based, university-affiliated, teaching hospital committed to excellent patient-centered care. Chestnut Hill Hospital provides a full range of inpatient and outpatient, diagnostic and treatment services for people in northwest Philadelphia and eastern Montgomery County. With more than 300 board-certified physicians, Chestnut Hill Hospital’s specialties include minimally invasive laparoscopic and robotic surgery, cardiology, gynecology, oncology, orthopedics, urology, family practice and internal medicine. Chestnut Hill Hospital is accredited by The Joint Commission and is affiliated with university-hospitals in Philadelphia for heart and stroke care and residency programs. For more informatio