Resolutions to Prepare for Heart Health Month
February is Heart Health Month, but that doesn’t mean you should wait until then to start working on your heart health goals for 2022. There are many great ways to use your New Year’s Resolutions to improve your heart health.
Here are some great choices for resolutions that will give you a jump-start on improving your heart health this year.
Smoking is a major cause of cardiovascular disease. According to the CDC, smoking causes about one in every four deaths from cardiovascular disease. And it’s not just smokers who suffer. Secondhand smoke causes nearly 34,000 deaths from heart disease among nonsmokers each year.
Despite this, about 17% of people aged 45-64 are current smokers. If you are a smoker, one of the best things you can do for your heart is to quit. We know this is easier said than done, and that’s why the cardiologists at South Denver Cardiology are prepared to help you with this goal.
If you haven’t had a cardiologist tell you to lose weight, you are either remarkably healthy or you haven’t been to see a cardiologist. We hate to sound like a broken record, but being overweight is a major contributor to your risk of heart disease. Combine that with the fact that about two-thirds of Americans are either overweight or obese, and we have to keep saying this.
Here’s the good news: you don’t have to lose a lot of weight to make a difference. Losing just 5-10% of your body weight can significantly improve your risk factors, even if you are still obese.
Be More Active
Increasing your level of activity can also help you get and maintain a healthy heart. Only about 20% of Americans meet the guidelines for recommended levels of physical activity.
If possible, try to meet these recommended activity levels, get from 150 to 300 minutes of moderate activity each week. If you can’t manage that, resolve to do what you can. We know that any level of physical activity can help. Something is always better than nothing, so adding more activity to your daily routine is always a good thing.
Take Up a Relaxing Hobby
Taking up a new hobby is one of the most common resolutions. If you’re going to do it, take our advice and pick something relaxing. Your daily routine is already full of stress, so why pick a stressful hobby on top of it?
Meditation, yoga, and reading are all relaxing hobbies that can help you feel happier and healthier. Hobbies that include exercises like intramural sports or walking have a double bonus of being both relaxing and active.
Make More Time for Sleep
In the past, TV stations stopped broadcasting at night. There were few distractions, helping people prioritize sleep at night. Now, though, there are media and distractions 24/7, so it can be hard to shut off your media and get sleep at night.
But it’s worth it to make the effort to turn off your media and get to sleep. If you do, you will reduce your risk of:
- Heart failure
- Atrial fibrillation
- High blood pressure
- Systemic inflammation
Getting into a normal bedtime routine, cutting back on caffeine, consuming less alcohol, and other approaches can make it easier to get more sleep.
Get a Calcium Heart Score
Want to go into Heart Health Month with a good idea of how healthy your heart is? One good way to do that is with a calcium heart score test. This is a great way to look at the hardening of your arteries and can help us understand your risk for a heart attack.
Getting a calcium heart score test can tell you if the calcification of your arteries is in the normal range, or if you should work to lower your calcium heart score.
We Can Help You Prepare for Heart Health Month
If you have made any resolutions to improve your health, including your heart health, South Denver Cardiology is here to help you achieve your goals. Please call 303-744-1065 or use our online form to request an appointment today.
As with any health concerns, your specific treatment program should be discussed thoroughly with your primary care physician as well as any specialists who may need to be consulted – like a cardiologist.Sign Up