You see hearts all over the place during the month of February. Not only is it the perfect time to think about those you love, but it’s also a great time to think about your heart and the steps you can take to keep it healthy.
February is Heart Health Awareness month and, in celebration, we’ve put together some helpful information everyone should know about their own heart health.
What Is a Heart Attack?
Heart attacks happen when blood flow to the heart gets blocked.
Blockages often occur when fat, cholesterol, and other substances form plaques in the arteries. This interrupts blood flow and can cause damage to (or completely destroy) the heart muscle.
Heart Attack Warning Signs
Heart attacks are serious and can even be fatal. The sooner you catch one, though, the greater likelihood there is of recovering.
Here are some of the most common heart attack symptoms to watch for:
When chest pain or discomfort is associated with a heart attack, it’s often felt in the center of the chest. It may last for several minutes, or it may go away and then return again. This pain is often described as an uncomfortable pressure or as a squeezing or full feeling.
You might also experience pain or discomfort in other places. This includes one or both of your arms, the back, neck, stomach, or even the jaw.
Some other warnings signs include breaking out into a cold sweat or feeling nauseated. You
may become lightheaded or dizzy, as well.
Tips for Improving Heart Health
February is the perfect time to add one (or more) of these tips to your routine and start making
heart health a priority:
Your heart is a muscle. Regular exercise is essential if you want to strengthen that muscle and
keep it working properly!
Go for a walk, ride a bike, lift some weights, or take a dance class. There are tons of ways to get up and get active.
Smoking has a significant impact on your chances of having a heart attack.
It’s not easy to quit, but this could be one of the most important steps you take. Here are some tips from the Centers for Disease Control that can help.
Improve Your Diet
Adding in some nutrient-rich, heart-healthy options can make a big difference to your heart
health. Have a side salad of leafy greens, swap out a steak for some salmon every once in a
while, and eat lots of antioxidant-rich berries to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Chronic stress leads to long-term increases in blood pressure and heart rate. Exercising can
help to reduce stress, as can spending time outdoors, meditating, and spending time with loved ones.
Time to Focus on Heart Health
As you can see, there are lots of steps you can take to improve your heart health and reduce
your risk of experiencing a heart attack. Keep the tips outlined above in mind, and feel free to
check out our blog for more health advice for you and your loved ones.