This American Heart Health Month, we want to help you prioritize your physical well-being — so we asked one of our experts, Resident Experience Coordinator Wendy Tamarit, to share tips and fun facts to guide in boosting your heart health this month.
Did you know that the average adult heart weighs between 7 and 15 ounces? This powerful pump moves 2,000 gallons of blood approximately 12,000 miles throughout your body every single day!
Maintaining a healthy heart is of utmost importance. Regrettably, heart disease continues to escalate in the United States, with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reporting that approximately 805,000 Americans experience heart attacks each year.
Often referred to as the “silent killer,” the development of heart disease and the risk of heart attacks begin years, or even decades, before a major event occurs. Factors such as sedentary lifestyles, poor dietary choices, genetic predisposition, and other risk factors gradually elevate bad cholesterol levels, leading to arterial blockages and more. However, the encouraging news is that it is never too late to implement changes that can significantly improve heart health!
Engaging in regular physical activity is one of the most effective ways to enhance not only your heart health but also to prevent other lifestyle-related diseases like Type 2 diabetes. The current guidelines for adults recommend aiming for 150 minutes of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity every week. Additionally, adopting a healthy diet can yield tremendous benefits for your overall well-being. A healthy diet is one that consists of:
- ample fruits and vegetables
- whole grains
- lean protein (or healthy protein alternatives)
- healthy fats
- minimally processed foods
- limited added sugar and salt
Implementing other strategies such as living tobacco-free, staying adequately hydrated, managing stress effectively and ensuring sufficient sleep each night further contribute to maintaining a healthy heart.
If you wish to take action to prevent heart disease, start by talking to your doctor. Begin exercising at a pace that is comfortable for you and gradually increase it to meet recommended guidelines. Make healthy food choices as often as possible, and if you smoke, take advantage of local resources and smoking cessation programs. By applying these principles, you can keep your heart happy and healthy!
Embrace the opportunity during American Heart Month to prioritize your heart health and make positive changes that will benefit you for years to come. To learn all about how you can enjoy a healthy, happy lifestyle by living or working at a Westminster community, visit our website and find a community near you today!