Did You Know?

That walking at least 30 minutes most days of the week can reduce your risk of getting heart disease? Did you also know that in 2010, taxpayers in the United States paid $444 billion in heart disease and stroke hospitalizations?

There are a number of conditions that fall under heart disease. Types of heart diseases include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stroke, heart failure and diabetes just to name a few. Now what is interesting about heart disease is that these are all preventable conditions. The fact that one has the ability to reduce their risk of being diagnosed with a heart condition is powerful and everyone should exercise this right to improve their quality of life.

With the plethora of information available today, it can be overwhelming on how to achieve optimal results when it comes to your health. As a healthcare professional, it is my duty to inform that everyone is unique and you should always consult your local physician before making changes. However, setting achievable and realistic goals for yourself is also important.

This month, Women of Standard magazine join the American Heart Association to celebrate Heart Awareness and offer tips on how to reduce your risk of heart disease or improve your condition if you have been diagnosed with a heart disease.

The first step to improving your health status is knowing your status. This requires making an appointment, undergoing examinations and discussing results with your doctor. For example, let us look at high cholesterol. The only way to know whether you have high cholesterol is to get your blood levels tested. There are two types of cholesterol that make up total cholesterol and this value should be 200 mg/dL or less. So if your results are abnormal, it is highly recommended that you make lifestyle changes to reduce your risk of heart disease and further complications.

Another example of a heart disease is stroke. When my father called me to describe a recent event while at work, I knew he was having a stroke and I immediately asked him to call 911. If a person’s face droops, experiences arm weakness and difficulty speaking, you need to call 911. Every second counts, so do not wait!

Whether you have a heart disease or not, find ways to implement 30 minutes of physical activity at least 3-5 times a week; have 3-5 servings of fruit and vegetables; drink lots of water; manage stress and follow your doctor’s regimen.

The best way to prevent heart disease is to set goals and be consistent with the aforementioned tips. The more activity your heart receives, the better your heart functions and the more you can physically accomplish daily. As you care for others this month, give your heart what it needs to be happy and healthy!

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