Did you know February is American Heart Month? In the US alone, about 500,000 open heart surgeries are performed each year. Heart disease remains the leading cause of death in both men and women in our country. This month and all year long, our physicians encourage implementing daily practices that help create a heart-healthy lifestyle.
Check in with your diet. Making minor changes in your diet can impact your long-term health. Your diet is the best tool to use in the fight against heart disease. Even if you are in great shape currently and experiencing no heart issues, a healthy diet is the best preventative measure you can take. Implementing a diet with plenty of fruits and veggies, lean proteins like chicken or fish, whole grains, beans and legumes, and low-fat dairy products, can lead to a healthier heart.
Get regular cardiovascular exercise. Exercise of any kind is beneficial for your heart health, but cardiovascular exercise is most beneficial. “If you are nervous about starting to exercise, I recommend to patients to start a walking program where I tell them to walk 15 minutes away from their home and then turn around and walk back,” says Dr. Desiree D’Angelo. “Do this each day, trying to go a little farther in those first 15 minutes each day. It is an easy way to start to get your heart pumping.” Always consult your physician before starting a new exercise program.
See your primary care physician for regular checkups. Being on top of what’s going on with your health is the best thing you can do to combat any sort of illness. By going to your annual physical appointments and getting routine blood work, your doctor will be able to advise you of any changes you may need to make. “I recommend seeing your primary care physician for yearly exams and getting routine lab work to make sure their blood pressure and cholesterol are within normal level,” says Dr. D’Angelo.
Drink plenty of water. “Find a plain water that has a high mineral content. Most of the water we buy in bottles has been purified, which usually means all the electrolytes have been removed. So, it’s best to look for electrolyte water to ensure maximum hydration.
Ditch the cigarettes or vapes. Smoking is detrimental to your health and should be avoided at all costs. Throw away the cigarettes, cigars, vaping pens, etc. Smoking can destroy your heart, lungs, esophagus and can become a very deadly habit.
Know your family history. If heart diseases run in your family, you should be aware and discuss it with your physician. Starting prevention early is a great way to combat bad genetics. Developing healthy habits can go a long way!
Know the symptoms of a heart attack. Substernal chest pain, like the feeling of someone crushing you, pain in your left arm, pain in your jaw, shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting, or fatigue could be a sign of a heart attack. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, dial 9-1-1 immediately.
For more information on American Heart Month and tips on living a heart-healthy lifestyle, click here.
As 2020 was not a year we were sad to say goodbye to, we want to start off 2021 in the best way possible! Join us in making this year a healthy and happy one with some tips from the surgeons of Premier Surgical Network.
Go to your regular or annual doctor’s appointments. Make it a point to schedule regular appointments like the doctor, dentist and eye doctor. Your body needs to be upkept and tended to in order to be the healthiest it can be. Be sure to make your regular appointments when needed such as mammography scans, gynecological exams, physicals, blood work, etc.
Make exercise a priority. Getting more exercise or achieving a weight-loss goal is a resolution many people make for the new year. However, it is important it stay realistic and not over-do it. Aim to work out about 3-5 days per week.
Make healthier food choices. This is another common new year goal, but it’s an easy one to partake in. Even adjusting your nutrition choices slightly will have a positive effect on your health. “This year I will try substitute snacks like chips with something healthier, like fruit,” says Dr. Ann Chuang.
Reach out to family and friends. Especially with social distancing in play, it’s easy to lose touch with friends that you haven’t seen or talked to in a while. “One of my resolutions this year is to reach out to ten friends I have not spoken to for a year via phone,” says Dr. Chuang. It will feel good to reconnect with friends, catch up and reminisce.
Make time for self-care. Mental health, especially during the winter months, is so important. We recommend making time for yourself and your emotional well-being, even if it’s for just 30 minutes a day. Whether it be yoga, meditation, Pilates, breathing exercises whatever, it is so important to your general health that your mental well-being is cared for. Even if you have a long to-do list, taking some time to even read a book or take a relaxing bath can help your mental health.
Drink plenty of water. An easy resolution this year is to make it a priority to drink at least 6-8 glasses of water a day. Staying hydrated is vital in maintaining healthy skin, good digestion, transporting nutrients, and helps improve your circulation. Invest in a reusable, eco-friendly water bottle that helps you consume more water while also helping the environment.
No matter what resolutions you’ve set for yourself this year, be sure to add in some that can help you benefit your overall health. By implementing some practices that form a healthy lifestyle, you will live a healthier and happier life. Wishing all a great 2021!