February is the month of love, so it is only fitting that it is also American Heart Month. Unfortunately, however, Heart Month doesn't mean all sunshine and rainbows. In fact, heart disease, otherwise known as cardiovascular disease, is the number one killer of men and women in the United States.
Cardiovascular disease includes strokes, heart disease and high blood pressure, and studies show that men are twice more likely than women to die from this disease. All hope is not lost, however, as there are preventative measures one can do to help reduce their risk of developing cardiovascular disease. As a matter of fact, it's as simple as: a healthy diet and an active lifestyle.
Adopting healthier eating habits is the first step toward a healthier heart. Just a few (of many) ways a healthy diet benefits the heart are:
In addition to a healthy diet, an active lifestyle also plays a vital role in combating heart disease. More specifically, exercise benefits the heart by:
The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week (or a combination of the two). People who maintain an active lifestyle have a 45% lower risk of developing heart disease than do sedentary people, while sedentary people have a 35% greater risk of developing high blood pressure that physically active people. In addition, benefits occur even with modest weight loss, suggesting that overweight people who have trouble losing weight can still achieve considerable amounts of heart benefits from exercise.
There are many ways to end the rise of cardiovascular disease, but one of the most beneficial we have yet to mention is physical therapy. Exercise-based rehabilitation (PT) for individuals with heart disease significantly improves outcomes and mortality rates. In fact, patients who performed strengthening and functional tasks three times a week for four weeks following a stroke have shown to make significant improvements in strength, walking speed and endurance.
If you or your loved one has cardiovascular disease, encourage them to make changes today. Start with diet and exercise, then call The Smith Clinic. You owe it to your heart!