Love is in the air, but before you give your heart away, it’s important to keep it healthy. February is American Heart Association Month and the perfect time to review the risk factors of heart disease and learn to recognize the symptoms of a heart attack in yourself and others.
Your Heart Health
The most common risk factors for heart disease and heart attack include:
- High LDL, or "bad" cholesterol and low HDL, or "good" cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Lack of exercise
- Uncontrolled diabetes
While you can’t control some risk factors of heart disease, such as age and family history, you can control other factors, such as:
- Taking steps to improve your diet, such as adding more fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
- Adding regular exercise to your daily routine. Set a goal of 10,000 steps or 30 minutes each day.
- Quitting smoking.
- Learning to manage stress through regular meditation or yoga.
- Seeing your doctor for regular checkups. Your doctor can help you take steps to maintain a healthy weight, improve cholesterol levels or lower blood pressure, and control diabetes if needed.
Balance, HCR ManorCare’s comprehensive health and wellness blog, supplies readers with healthy ideas throughout the year. The blog is designed to serve as a resource, not only for patients, residents and families, but for anyone who strives to live a healthy, “balanced” life. For more information and help in making healthy choices, go to balance.hcr-manorcare.com and sign up to receive our newsletters. If you need help making a health care decision, visit our CareFinder and live chat.