With over 600,000 victims a year, this silent epidemic is the leading cause of death for men, women, and most ethnicities. But February is Heart Month and the perfect time to take action to protect yourself.
It’s easy to put off taking care of our heart health. But with 50% of adults affected by heart disease, you may be at risk without even knowing it. Below are some common warning signs to look for. If these describe you, it’s probably a good idea to schedule a checkup with your doctor.
- Overweight – Obesity is one of the leading causes of heart disease.
- Over 50 – As we age, our risk for heart disease increases.
- A smoker – Smokers have nearly twice the risk for heart attacks as non-smokers.
- Have high blood pressure – Untreated high blood pressure is a major factor in heart disease and should be treated with help from your doctor.
- Live a sedentary lifestyle – If your job has you sitting most of the day you’re at an elevated risk.
- Have high stress – Stressful workplaces, family life, and lack of sleep can all contribute to heart disease.
- Drink alcohol – Regular drinking of alcohol can contribute to high blood pressure.
- Have a family history – Shared genetic and environmental factors can make you more susceptible to heart disease.
What can you do?
Heart disease is deadly. But it’s also preventable. Even small changes to your everyday lifestyle can reduce your risks. Here are a few simple steps you can take to help keep your heart healthy.
- Stay active – Whether it’s a leisurely walk or an intense workout, try to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day.
- Eat Healthier – Have a glass of water instead of soda. Make a home-cooked meal instead of grabbing fast food. Don’t eat after 8pm. Small choices can have a big impact.
- Schedule a Checkup – Make sure you’re scheduling regular checkups with your doctor to keep track of your cholesterol and blood pressure.
- Quit smoking. – Smoking has been linked to many health problems, including heart disease. The CDC has information on ways to quit.
- Sleep Right – Try to get eight hours of sleep a night to help lessen stress.
Is it safe?
If you need to schedule a checkup, we’ve implemented comprehensive safety protocols such as temperature checks, mandatory masks, social distancing and personal protective equipment to ensure your visit is safe. You can also check with your doctor to see if virtual appointments are an option for you.
Learn more about the St. Joe’s cardiovascular program or find a physician today. St. Joe’s has a nationally-recognized cardiovascular team dedicated to helping you manage your heart health. You’ll find advanced, patient-centered care, the latest treatments and the tools you need to live healthier.