Act NOW to a Healthier Heart
According to the World Health Organization, cardiovascular disease is the #1 cause of death throughout the world. Education, sharing of knowledge, advancing technology and research are helping to make a positive impact on reducing cardiovascular disease.
Do you ever ask yourself, "What habits can I change to live a longer, healthier life?" Here are three things to start with no matter what your age.
1. Act NOW to improve your modifiable risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
- Talk with your doctor about control of diabetes, cholesterol and blood pressure.
- Exercise for 30 minutes most days of the week. Examples include walking, joining a gym, stretching, gardening, bike riding, water aerobics or utilizing home DVD's for chair exercises. Also, local community centers often offer senior exercise classes. You may break up the time into increments, such as three 10-minute sessions throughout the day.
- Stick to a diet low in saturated fats, salt and carbohydrates and high in fruits and vegetables. Also recommended are lean meat, poultry, fish, beans, whole grains and cereals.
- Avoid getting sick from the flu by getting the flu vaccination yearly.
- Quit smoking either on your own or with help of resources such as Riverside's Smokeless program.
- If overweight, decrease weight by 5-10%. Goal body mass index should be between 18.5 and 24.9.
2. Know the signs and symptoms of a heart attack and stroke.
- Heart attack warning signs: pain or discomfort in the chest, arms, left shoulder, elbows, jaw or back; nausea or vomiting; sweating; trouble breathing or unusual fatigue.
- Stroke warning signs: sudden confusion; sudden numbness, tingling or weakness to your face, arm or leg; trouble moving one side; slurred speech; sudden severe headache different from previous headaches or severe jaw pain.
3. Take your medications, take good care of your physical and mental health, and no matter what your limitations, do something enjoyable!
Remember to act NOW towards a heart healthy lifestyle, which will lead to a healthier you!