Springing into Better Heart Health
How to Take Steps Towards a Healthier Heart
With the weather getting warmer and the days getting longer, Springtime is on the horizon! Drawing inspiration from the turn of the seasons, what better time than now to spring into healthier habits?
Understanding Heart Disease
What is Heart Disease?
Heart disease is an umbrella term used to refer to several different health conditions that affect the heart. Some of the many health conditions that impact your heart health include:
- Coronary artery disease (CAD)
- Acute coronary syndrome
- Aortic aneurysm and dissection
- Atrial fibrillation
- Congenital heart defects
- Heart failure
- Marfan syndrome
- Mental health disorders
- Peripheral arterial disease (PAD)
- Pulmonary hypertension
- Rheumatic heart disease
- Valvular heart disease
By the Numbers
Here are some key statistics about heart disease in the United States:
- Heart disease is the leading cause of death for adults.
- 1 in 4 deaths is at the hands of heart disease.
- On average, someone dies every 36 seconds from heart disease.
- Someone has a stroke, which could be caused by heart disease, every 40 seconds.
- More than 800,000 people have a heart attack every year.
- 121.5 million adults have hypertension.
The following factors increase your risk of developing heart disease or experiencing a cardiac event:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Smoking or using tobacco products
- Having diabetes
- Being overweight
- Eating an unhealthy diet
- Leading a sedentary lifestyle
- Excessive alcohol consumption
Supporting Your Heart Health this Spring
Get Up & Get Moving
Leading an inactive lifestyle is one of the main factors that contribute to your risk of developing heart disease or having a cardiac event. Introducing even a little bit of physical activity into your weekly routine can help turn that around.
The American Heart Association recommends that adults should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week. That works out to be just 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week!
Some great activities to get your blood pumping this spring include:
- Trail running
- Bike riding
- Spring cleaning your home
Cut Out Junk Foods
As the saying goes—you are what you eat! This is especially true when it comes to supporting your cardiovascular health. To help reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes, cut back on the following:
- Fast food
- Foods with a lot of salt
- Foods with a lot of sugar
- Trans fats
- Saturated fats
- Fried foods
Stay On Top of Your Blood Pressure
A healthy blood pressure reading is 120/80 or lower. Having healthy blood pressure means that your cardiovascular system is working efficiently, supplying oxygenated blood, nutrients, and hormones throughout the body. If you don’t know what your blood pressure is, talk to your primary care provider.
Heart Care at St. Luke’s
If you have heart concerns, our expert team at St. Luke’s can help. At St. Luke's Regional Heart & Vascular Center, we provide award-winning, compassionate care using the latest technologies. To learn more about heart care at St. Luke's or to schedule an appointment, call 218.249.3057 or visit slhduluth.com/heart.