Valentine’s Day is upon us once more, but the plethora of heart-shaped balloons, candy, cards, and flowers do more than remind us about relationships with the people we love – they also serve as a reminder to engage in heart-healthy activities, and to schedule our medical checkup to ensure that our hearts are healthy and strong.
Appropriately, February is Heart Month, shining a spotlight on the hardest working organ in our body – and unfortunately one of the most ignored.
According to statistics reported by the American Heart Association, nearly 78 million Americans suffer from high blood pressure, but only about half of them have taken steps to address it. In fact, many adults have no idea they even have heart disease, which is often indicated by a simple blood pressure check. Readings consistently equal to or above 140 over 90 is considered high, and should be addressed. (120 over 80 or lower is considered “normal” for adults).
Being aware of risk factors, and engaging in heart-healthy activities, are just a few ways in which adults can help reduce their risk of heart disease.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), factors for heart disease include:
- over-consumption of alcohol
- over-consumption of salt
- family history of hypertension
- being African American
The fist-sized muscle, located roughly in the center of the chest, beats approximately 100,000 times per day (35 million beats per year!), and sends 2,000 gallons of blood through the roughly 60,000 miles of blood vessels in the body.
Laughter is truly a heart-healthy activity, which can result in 20 percent more blood pumping through your body when you enjoy a “good belly laugh,” according to Cleveland Clinic staff cardiologist Dr. Richard Krasaski.
Reducing stress, eating right, exercising regularly (including laughing), quitting smoking, and limiting alcohol consumption are just a few simple ways to improve heart health.
Windsong Communities is committed to creating homes and neighborhoods that promote healthy lifestyles, encourage new friendships, and provide easy access to leisure activities, travel outlets, and medical facilities, including Emory Healthcare in Atlanta, which is consistently recognized as one of the top heart health centers in the nation by US News & World Report.
Windsong’s Sales Agent, Kris Johnson recently had a wake up call when she experienced Coronary Artery Disease last year. Check out Kris’ story here and we hope you will be inspired to get checked and be healthy!
Welcome home to Windsong – Where Life’s A Breeze!