Keeping Your Heart Healthy

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Do you give your heart enough TLC?  Since heart disease is the leading cause of death for American men and women, you don’t want to become a statistic. Take stock of how you care for your body’s blood-pumping powerhouse.

While you can’t control some heart disease risk factors – like age, family history, race or gender – you can control others, such as smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, uncontrolled diabetes, obesity, physical inactivity and uncontrolled stress.

Knowing you can make a life-saving difference puts you in the driver’s seat when it comes to preventing heart disease. It all boils down to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. But how?

Kick the habit. If you smoke, you more than double your risk for a heart attack compared to nonsmokers. You’re also much more likely to die if you suffer a heart attack. Do your heart a favor – nix the nicotine.

Embrace a physically active lifestyle. Sedentary people experience higher rates of death and heart disease compared to even mildly active people. Participate in moderate-to-vigorous activity for at least 30 minutes five days a week. Activities could include walking, bicycling, dancing, yoga, martial arts and other sports, as well as “around-the-house” activities like gardening and yard work.  It is recommended you contact your physician prior to initiating an exercise program.

Eat a balanced, nutritious diet. Choose a variety of foods low in saturated fat, total fat and cholesterol, and high in fruits, vegetables, grains and low fat dairy foods.

Check your blood pressure. If your blood pressure exceeds the normal level of 120/80 mmHg, talk to your doctor about effective ways to reduce it. If unchecked and untreated, high blood pressure can lead to stroke, heart attack, heart failure, kidney disease and blindness.

Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity – a body mass index (BMI) of 30.0 or higher – contributes to high blood pressure.

If you have diabetes, get it under control.  According to the American Diabetes Association, as many as 65 percent of people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke. Heart disease strikes people with diabetes more than twice as often as it strikes people without diabetes.

This “Shore Ortho Healthy Tip” Provided by:
Shore Orthopaedic Physical and Hand Therapy and NovaCare Rehabilitation
For more information, please contact one of our three convenient locations:

Somers Point (609) 927-5463   Galloway (609)404-4804             Cape May Court House (609) 463-6883
Managed by: NovaCare Rehabilitation

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