February is the month set aside to shower those we love with heart-shaped candies and boxes of chocolates. However, did you know that February is also National Heart Month and a great time to make changes that will positively impact your heart health? Champion Home Health Care has the privilege of assisting seniors throughout Melbourne, FL and the surrounding areas with the best in-home health care available. We believe that knowledge is power when it comes to your health.

Did you know that 1 in 4 deaths in the United States is attributed to heart disease? Over 600,000 Americans will die each year as a result of heart disease. This is an astounding number and research shows that death from heart disease is actually increasing and that younger populations are even more at risk than before. Heart disease actually refers to a group of varying conditions that affect the heart, the most well-known and common being coronary heart disease. Many believe that heart disease is something that can be cured, however, this simply is not the case. Heart disease is a chronic condition that once diagnosed will be something the patient must live with for the rest of their lives. Medical advances certainly have had a positive impact on life after a heart disease diagnosis, and there are things that you can begin implementing today to help prevent heart issues in the future. Let’s take a look at ways to pump up your heart for the better!

Get Moving

The American Heart Association suggests physical activity, adding up to at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity per week. This equates to 2 ½ hours of an activity such as brisk walking per week.  You do not have to go all out at the gym. You don’t have to run a marathon. Just start moving. If you need encouragement, try finding a walking buddy or use your pooch as an excuse to get out. The most important thing is to start where you are and don’t quit. They also suggest strength training sessions 2 days a week.

Eat Better

You know the benefits of a diet rich in whole-grains, fruits and vegetable, lean proteins, and low in saturated fat and these go a long way in the prevention of heart disease.

Stop Tobacco

The adverse health effects of tobacco are well-known so just quit, for good. You up your risk for coronary heart disease by smoking. This is a risk factor that you can eliminate.

Get Checked

It is important that you know your cholesterol and blood pressure numbers as both are closely associated with the development of heart disease. Make sure you are checked often and keep track. If your numbers are off, speak with your doctors and set up a game plan. Seniors, in particular, would be served well by having an ankle ankle-brachial index exam beginning in their sixties. This simple test can alert your physician to peripheral artery disease.

Heart disease can affect anyone at any age but there are things that you can do now that could save your life. Seniors should pay attention to their weight and be aware of the warning signs that accompany a cardiovascular event.