Matters of the Heart

 In 2021, Tip of the Week

Safety Compliance Management, Inc.Next Sunday is Valentine’s Day. While children color pictures of hearts for their parents, it is a good time to talk about hearts. Not red hearts on paper, but your heart. According to the CDC, over 800,000 people in U.S. have a heart attack per year. (Link: https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm) And experts tell us that if you have cardiac issues or have had a heart attack or stroke, you have a greater risk of more serious symptoms should you contract COVID-19.

If you looked at the link from the CDC, you might have seen that some people are at risk from heart problems, but don’t realize it. What are some things that could put your heart at greater risk? There are some common risk factors, such as high blood pressure or cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, unhealthy diets, and lack of physical activity. If you are unsure of your personal risk factor, we found a heart risk calculator from the American Heart Association that can predict your risk of having a heart attack in the next 10 years, linked here: https://ccccalculator.ccctracker.com

It’s better to prevent disease than to try to recover from it. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “An ounce ofprevention is worth a pound of cure.” What can you do to prevent heart disease or, even worse, a heart attack? We are offering some guidance from the American Heart Association’s 8 Steps to Prevent Heart Disease and Stroke, linked here: https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-lifestyle/prevent-heart-disease-and-stroke.

1. Know your risk. If you clicked on the calculator link above, you’ve already done step one. If not, we recommend that you take 30 seconds to check it out.
2. Healthy diets. Yes, many of us could do better in this area. Eat more veggies, less pepperoni pizza. Less processed foods full of unhealthy carbs and sodium. Learn to enjoy a balanced diet, including balancing your intake of alcohol.
3. Exercise. Most adults would do well to have 2.5 hours of moderate exercise weekly. That may seem intimidating, but if you break it down, that’s only a little more 20 minutes each day.
4. Weight. Is your weight within healthy limits? If you are unsure, contact your healthcare provider to discuss it.

5. Smoking. Be tobacco-free. This includes vaping, e-cigarettes, and second-hand smoke. To learn more, follow this link:

6. Manage pre-existing conditions. If you already know you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes, continue to keep them under control.
7. Take your pills. If your health care provider has you on medication for the conditions listed in #6, take themedications as directed. If the meds are causing problems, discuss them with your doctor rather than stop taking them on your own.

8. Teamwork. Become a part of a team that includes your healthcare provider. Work with them to manage your healthcare.

When you think about it, offering a healthy heart to those you love is a nicer gift than a Valentine’s Day card. It’s a better way to show that you care, wanting to be healthy and live a long life.
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