February is Heart Health month. Heart disease is the biggest cause of death in both men and women. For women heart disease causes more deaths than all forms of cancer combined and it’s something that is largely controllable.
According to the American Heart Association, the number of deaths linked to high blood pressure rose 53 percent between the years 1991 and 2001. Contributing to this is an aging population, a rise in obesity and a diet that is high in processed foods and sodium. Sadly, one-third of the population remains unaware that they even have high blood pressure.
So what can you do to prevent this and stay healthy?
Know your numbers for blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar. If you have not visited your doctor recently go and get tested.
- Healthy blood pressure is: 120/80 or less
- Desirable total cholesterol is: less than 200
- Desirable LDL cholesterol is: less than 100
- Desirable HDL cholesterol is: greater than 60
- Fasting blood sugar: less than 100
Maintain a healthy weight. If you are overweight losing even 10% of your body weight can make a big difference in your health.
Know your genetics. A family history that is high in heart disease plays a strong role in your own heart health.
Eat a diet that is high in vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains. Minimize your intake of sugar, salt and white foods. (such as white breads, bagels, cookies, cakes, rice & pastas)
Sleep well consistently. Rest lets your body repair itself, decreasing inflammation and blood stickiness.
Manage stress and anger. Deep breathing, exercise and meditation can all help keep stress levels low.
Get cardiovascular exercise regularly. Walking is a great way to relieve stress and maintain heart health. It’s inexpensive and doesn’t need fancy equipment.
Do you need help maintaining a healthy lifestyle? I would love to support you on your journey to better health. Send me an email, firstname.lastname@example.org, for a complimentary consultation. Together we can come up with a plan that works for you and your busy lifestyle.