Spring is FINALLY here! Spring means blossoms blooming, bees buzzing, rain raining, thunder thundering, lightning flashing, cool winds blowing, sunrise jogging, playground swinging, barbecuing, families gathering, sunset kissing, lemonade standing, and kids laughing. Spring means starting over, starting fresh and starting anew.
To millions of Americans, spring (and all of its spring-y-ness) is a reminder that they can’t do all of those things anymore because they suffer from heart disease. According to The American Heart Association (AHA), heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States. Over 800,000 Americans died of heart disease each year. That’s 1 out of every 3 deaths. Think about that the next time you sit down for family dinner. Look to your left and then to your right. One of you will die from heart disease. Those are sobering statistics.
What can we do to avoid becoming a statistic? The AHA lists smoking, physical inactivity, and poor nutrition, among others, as the leading causes of heart disease. A good start is to follow some simple dos and don’ts. Here are a few tips that could save your life:
Have a healthy eating plan: Choose foods low in salt and saturated fat. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fish and nuts. Try to avoid sugary drinks and red meat. If you’ve got to have that steak, get the filet. It has the lowest amount of fat on the menu. Don’t make your diet goals too big. Set small goals of eating a little better each day and each week. You’ll notice a difference in how you look and feel.
Be physically active: Little bits of exercise each day can go a long way towards avoiding heart disease. The goal is to exercise 60 minutes each day. That’s a lofty target, and most of us just don’t have that kind of time. You can do small things like take the stairs instead of the elevator, or park on the far end of the parking lot instead of right next to the grocery store. You will find yourself feeling stronger in no time.
Tame your stress: Easier said than done, right? The AHA says long term stress can cause increases in heart rate and blood pressure that may damage artery walls. Learning stress management techniques like deep breathing exercises will not only benefit your body, but also your quality of life.
Spring Into Action! And make small choices today that will pay off the rest of your life. Your friends and family will love you for it!
Written by John Bryson, Director of Marketing, DXE Medical Inc.