Hard to believe it is already February! This month’s theme will focus on our hearts and our love. This Friday is National Wear Red Day which promotes understanding cardiovascular disease risks and heart-healthy habits. By wearing red, we support those we have lost and those living with heart disease. On this day and month ahead, we focus on combating the risk factors by making heart-healthy lifestyle choices.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US. According to the World Health Organization, cardiovascular disease is also the leading cause of death globally representing 32% of all global deaths in 2019 with 85% from heart attacks and strokes. Additionally, people with poor cardiovascular health are at a greater risk of severe illness from Covid-19.
Like many diseases, there are many risk factors, but we can control some of them with lifestyle modifications. The ADA article highlights the risk factors for cardiovascular disease. We can assess our risk based on the factors and focus on those we can control. Examples are lowering our cholesterol, lowering our blood sugar, monitoring our blood pressure to manage levels, eating a healthier diet, losing weight, exercising consistently, and stopping smoking/vaping.
So where do we start? The Harvard Health article below provides simple easy ways to incorporate 10 small, “micro habits” to get us on our way to creating a heart-healthy lifestyle. I am incorporating fruit and nuts for snacks, as well as practicing daily gratitude. What will you do to improve your heart health?
Another great resource for a deeper dive is the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute – NHLBI webpage below for resources to prevent heart disease to help us focus on specific areas.
It is time to take care of ourselves so we can be present for ourselves and others. Please share this with anyone who wants to take charge of their health and needs support. Don’t forget to wear red on Friday!