Are you prioritizing your health and wellbeing enough?
Every year, February sees a focus on Heart Month. It's a great time to reflect on the wellbeing of not only ourselves, but our loved ones also - and to pay better attention to improving our lifestyle to prevent heart disease.
The British Heart Foundation (BHF) suggests that coronary heart disease kills twice as many women as breast cancer in the UK, so it’s especially important for women to engage in this important opportunity.
According to a statement from the White House regarding American Heart Month, Cardiovascular diseases — including heart conditions and strokes — are also a leading cause of pregnancy-related deaths, which are highest among women of color.
Making small changes for a brighter future
So what can we all do to ensure we live healthier, happier, and more active lives?
The BHF has compiled a list of small changes to make to a daily routine, to help reduce the risk of heart and circulatory related conditions such as diabetes, stroke, vascular dementia, or heart disease.
Additionally, making sure you keep track of your blood pressure is vital.
“Around 28 per cent of adults in the UK have high blood pressure, which can be caused by unhealthy habits. Being overweight, drinking too much alcohol and not doing enough exercise are all examples of factors which can increase your risk of getting high blood pressure,” explains the BHF.
The foundation also drills down on the importance of exercise. “Whatever your age or ability, exercising can help to improve your general wellbeing. In fact, regular physical activity can help to reduce the risk of developing heart and circulatory disease by up to 35 per cent. Just taking 20 to 30 minutes from your day to exercise, whether that is going for a run or a walk, can help make such a difference to your heart."
We are what we eat
It’s what’s on the inside that also counts, and eating a healthy and balanced diet can help reduce the risk of heart and circulatory diseases – such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.
Not only can a good diet help maintain a healthy weight, eating the right things can also help to lower cholesterol levels, says the BHF.
Stress is also a factor. And while not a cause of heart and circulatory diseases, stress can lead to unhealthy habits that may increase your risk.
“It’s important to understand that it’s normal and okay to feel stressed at times and there is support out there if you need it,” reminds the BHF.
Educate yourself to learn more about blood pressure
The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has created American Heart Month Toolkits for professionals and individuals.
Using plain language materials, quizzes, videos and graphics, the toolkits aim to help people learn more about their blood pressure.
Live your best life
So focus on your health. Look after yourself, and your loved ones.
Aim to prevent a heart attack by being informed, making the right choices, and exercising regularly.
Live your absolute best and fullest life!