Our heart—that quiet, understated partner—will beat 36,500,000 times in 2009. To avoid a broken heart, we need to listen to its message before it’s too late.
Why do we need to listen? Because one out of every three Americans (nearly 81 million), suffers from some form of cardiovascular disease, a condition that encompasses not only heart attacks, but also strokes, aneurysms and atherosclerosis.
Over the past seven years, we’ve witnessed significant progress in the treatment of heart disease. This progress has resulted in a lowered death rate, so much so that cancer is projected to overtake heart disease in 2010 as the number one cause of death in the United States.
But cancer’s promotion to the spot of #1 killer is hardly cause for celebration since the toll from heart disease remains high. Approximately half a million individuals die each year from cardiovascular diseases. Seniors, parents, spouses and even children are its victims.
If our hearts could speak, they’d tell us to take good care of our health not only during American Heart Month, but throughout the year. If you’re ready to listen, consider these three tips (FIT):
F: Focus on maintaining a positive outlook, a grateful attitude, enriching relationships and satisfying work. Attaining and sustaining good mental health protects your physical health.
I: Invest 30-60 minutes a day in exercise. Researchers report that exercise, even for those who are only slightly overweight, can reduce the risk of heart disease. For those who are overweight or obese, exercise becomes even more essential to reduce the risk of heart disease.
T: Take off the extra weight. Even a few extra pounds increase the risk of heart disease. In one study of 21,000 men, researchers found that every pound of extra weight increased risk. The chubbier participants faced a 180 percent increase in the odds of developing the heart disease.
According to Dr. David Sabgir, Ohio-based board certified cardiologist and founder of the Walk With a Doc program, “Notwithstanding the wonderful advances in treatment, prevention remains the safest, most reliable and least expensive way to avoid cardiovascular disease. Plus, patients who adopt healthful habits to protect their heart (such as exercising regularly and losing weight) are simultaneously protecting themselves from other health problems.
As part of your prevention program, consider heart-friendly ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Instead of devouring a box of chocolates sitting in front of the television, take the hand of your loved one and go for a walk. If you give gifts, consider a pedometer or heart monitor. These are gifts that truly show how much you care.
while you’re at it, get a one for yourself. When we take care of
our health, we reduce our chances for a broken heart. Not only do we
set a positive example for others, we also improve the odds that
we’ll have many more future Februarys to enjoy with family and
"You can create more opportunities by asking for them" Patty Hansen