February is National American Heart Month. National American Heart Month is a way for American’s to stay aware of the dangers of heart disease. PAD and Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) are both caused by a narrowing and blocking of arteries in critical regions of the body, also called atherosclerosis.
The CDC claims that heart disease is the number one cause of death in the US, and that someone dies from heart disease every 37 seconds. This is shocking as heart disease can be prevented through living a healthy lifestyle.
The Risks for Heart Disease
- Have high cholesterol or high blood pressure
- Are overweight or obese
- Don’t get enough physical activity
- Don’t eat a healthy diet
Heart disease is a blanket term that describes a group of serious health conditions that significantly affect the heart. The most common type of heart disease is coronary heart disease, which in 2015 killed about 365,000 people. There are over 18 million adults older than 2 living with coronary heart disease.
Another form of heart disease is heart attack. This occurs when one of the arteries that supplies blood to your heart is blocked. Once the arteries are blocked and the plaque ruptures, a blood clot forms and triggers a heart attack. In the US, someone has a heart attack every 40 seconds.
National American Health Month is a way to get people talking about heart disease risks. As the leading, preventable cause of death, it’s as good as a reason as any to start making healthier choices.
Thankfully there are things you can be doing right not to prevent heart disease and decrease your risk. The most important thing to remember about heart disease awareness is that it is preventable, meaning that with the right amount of effort, it can be avoided.
Make Healthy Choices
The following are some useful tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle and reducing your risk for heart disease:
- Eat healthy
- Get active
- Stay at a healthy weight
- Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke
- Control your cholesterol and blood pressure
- If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation
- Manage stress
One of the leading causes of heart disease is inactivity and being overweight, which go hand-in-hand. Even if you work a sedentary job, it is detrimental to your long-term health that you get up and move at least once an hour. Incorporating more activity into your day will not only benefit your circulation, but it will also promote weight loss.
If exercising for long periods is inconvenient, or you’re not physically able, you should still try to include some light walking or movement into your daily activities. Being more active helps protect the function of your heart and improves the flow of blood. This is important because poor circulation is the precursor for a variety of very serious medical conditions.
Avoid eating food that are high in saturated fat, and limit consumption of fast or processed foods to a minimum. Opt-out your French fired or potato chips for some fresh fruit or a sugar-free granola bar. Although fast food is very convenient, it wreaks havoc on your arteries and fills them with plaque—a substance that blocks the arteries and leads to blood clots.
Prolonged stress is one of the leading causes of high blood pressure, which has direction connection to heart disease. Taking measures to avoid stressful situations and adopt healthy methods to cope with stress. Some easy ways to avoid stress is meditation, reading a book, walking through the woods, or sitting by the beach. Take deep breaths when you start to feel overwhelmed, and when in doubt, remind yourself that you’re trying to help your heart.
The Road to A Healthy Heart
Being healthier is not an easy feat, especially if you have lived most of your life doing relatively unhealthy things. At USA Vascular clinics, we want you to know were here to help. Your heart is a very important resource for the body, and having any form of hear disease increases your risk for other conditions like Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD).
As you strive to become healthier and fight off PAD and heart disease, remember:
- Don’t get overwhelmed. Every step you take brings you closer to a healthier heart.
- Don’t do it alone.The journey is always easier to accomplish with good support; ask friends and family to join you.
- Don’t get discouraged. It may seem hard to be healthy, but by taking small steps each day will make it easier to achieve your goal.
- Reward yourself. Find fun things to do to decrease your stress: Round up some colleagues for a lunchtime walk, join a singing group, or have a healthy dinner with family or friends.
At USA Vascular Centers, we specialize in Stent Angioplasty treatment for Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD). If you or someone you know has high blood pressure or PAD, reach out to us today for a consolation.
The objective of our PAD treatment is to make your blood flow efficient and healthy and to improve your overall quality of life. Post-procedure medicines will help preserve your ability to be active and stabilize blockages already present in other body arteries. You should also do some lifestyle changes, such as eating low-cholesterol, low-fat and heart-healthy diet, and quitting smoking to get the best outcomes from your non-surgical PAD treatment.
We have PAD treatment centers located across the country, in 16 states. Visit a PAD clinic near you to take the first steps towards healthier legs and a healthier life.
Call us at 888.773.2193 or request an appointment online.