It’s no coincident that February is American Heart Month.  After all, if you love someone, you want them to be happy and healthy.  This is a great time to make a commitment for improved heart health for ourselves and our families.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women and men. And, half of all Americans have at least one risk factor. If you come from a family with a history of heart disease, it may seem overwhelming to think about heart health.

Being heart aware is even more important for people with mental health issues.  Researchers found patients with mental illness at any point in their life were twice as likely to have had a stroke or experienced heart disease than the general population

The research team identified a number of factors including poor diet, smoking, drinking, lack of exercise, the adverse cardiac risks from mental health medications and the lack of physician oversight for physical illness like blood pressure.

The good news is the American Heart Association has created some great tools for us to use, making it easier to create a heart healthier lifestyle.

The first is Life’s Simple Seven approaches to staying heart healthy

  • Be active
  • Keep a healthy weight
  • Learn about your cholesterol
  • Don’t smoke or use smokeless tobacco
  • Learn about your cholesterol.
  • Eat a heart-healthy diet
  • Keep blood pressure healthy,
  • Learn about blood sugar and diabetes.

Give your heart a gift by scheduling a visit with your doctor to find out your important numbers: blood pressure, cholesterol, body mass index and blood sugar. Working toward hitting the target levels for these important numbers is important for heart health.

Follow this link to learn more: https://tools.bigbeelabs.com/aha/tools/mlc/