February may be synonymous with roses, chocolate and all things heart-shaped, but did you know it’s also American Heart Month? So why not show one of the most essential things in your life the thing it needs the most, some love!
These small changes can make a difference and keep your ticker in tip-top shape!
1. Sleep More
Poor sleep patterns lead to more issues than under eye circles — we’re talking problems with memory, weight management and other serious health conditions like hypertension, diabetes, and cancer.
By sticking to a sleep schedule, yes even on the weekends, you can help regulate your body’s internal clock. To get yourself acclimated with your new schedule, start with a relaxing nightly routine. From a good mattress to limiting phone or screen time before bed, a good night’s rest can be within reach!
Sleep deprivation is serious and if you find yourself fighting to stay awake most day, it’s time to speak to your doctor. Call Kirby Medical Center at (217) 762-1690 to find out how you can begin testing for sleep disorders.
The happier you are, the happier your heart is! By opting to do more activities you enjoy, the better chance you have at relieving unneeded stress and boosting your mood.
Beyond that, a healthy smile — meaning, caring for your teeth — may help lower your risk of heart disease, too. Studies have shown gum disease is associated with an increased risk of developing heart disease, and tooth loss patterns are connected to coronary artery disease. So remember to brush your teeth for two minutes, twice a day and floss daily!
3. Limit Junk Foods
When it comes to heart health, you should be regulating this organ’s performance just like the vehicle your drive to work — but much more frequently. In fact, when it comes to food, anything filled to the brim with added sugars, saturated fat and excessive sodium, can take a toll on your heart’s health, as well as your physical activity.
When consumed in excess, these foods promote weight gain, raise blood pressure and will clog your arteries, ultimately increasing your risk of heart disease.
4. Build Muscle
The gym isn’t just vital in building your biceps and quads; it’s also a necessity for your body’s most important muscle, your heart! That’s why the American Heart Association recommends moderate to high-intensity muscle-strengthening activities at least two days per week along with at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity weekly.
While it may seem daunting, consider breaking these exercise sessions up into a few short segments throughout the day. Remember, something is better than nothing! If you need help getting moving, consider taking one of our KMC Active classes.
5. Know Your Numbers
We’re not just talking about your age and birthdate. When it comes to heart health, there are some other important numbers all should know, such as:
- Blood pressure
- Cholesterol Level
- Body-mass Index (BMI)
All of which are modifiable risk factors for heart disease. By speaking to your doctor and learning which numbers are healthy for you, you can take control of your heart health.
If you’re looking for more ways to control your risk of heart disease, we’ve got you covered!
Call Kirby Medical Center at 217.762.1830 to learn more about our cardiac rehabilitation program. Creating heart-healthy habits is hard, that’s why we’re here to help!