Show Your Heart some Love this American Heart Month
With a few changes to our everyday activities, we can show one of our most vital organs – our hearts – some extra love this month. Healthful living helps our bodies stay at a healthy weight, and a healthy weight is important to our heart’s health.
Obesity and overweight puts adults as well as children at risk for a number of serious health problems. Many are aware of the health issues unhealthy weight can impose on our children such as type 2 diabetes and asthma, but not everyone is familiar with how extra weight can affect their hearts. Overweight children are more likely to grow up to be overweight adults and, by carrying this extra weight into adulthood, are more likely to develop heart problems.
Use this American Heart Month as a chance to refocus your heart healthy lifestyle and set an example for your family to do the same.
H – Halt the Salt
Nine in 10 children ages 6-18 years old are consuming too much sodium, and one in six children has elevated blood pressure. With high blood pressure being a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke, we can set our young people up for a heart healthy life by reducing the amount of added salt they consume daily.
E – Eat Your Fruits and Veggies
The vitamins and minerals contained in fruits and veggies may help prevent heart disease. Plus, the low calorie, high nutrient makeup of fruits and veggies allow us maintain our healthy weights while eating complete well-balanced meals.
A – Always Get Enough Sleep
Due to our increasingly busy schedules and around the clock access to technology, many of us are not getting enough rest. But sleep is essential to our heart’s health. Lack of sleep increases our risk of high blood pressure and heart disease, so although it may seem hard to fit in, a full night’s rest is what your heart needs.
R – Reduce Your Stress
Excessive stress itself can lead to high blood pressure, but it can also increase the intensity and frequency of various unhealthy habits that also have negative effects on our heart. When we’re stressed, we often lose sight of our physical activity and healthy eating goals as well as lose those much needed hours of sleep. By effectively managing our stress, we can help make all our other healthy habits come a little easier.
T – Take Time to Get Active
Less than 60 percent of adults are physically active on a regular basis, and only one in three children is physically active each day. Inactive individuals have a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure, so by increasing our daily minutes of physical activity, we may increase the longevity of the hearts we love so much.
How are you staying heart healthy this month?