Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men, women, and people of most racial and ethnic groups in the United States.
One person dies every 34 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease.
About 697,000 people in the United States died from heart disease in 2020—that’s 1 in every 5 deaths.
Heart disease cost the United States about $229 billion each year from 2017 to 2018. This includes the cost of healthcare services, medicines, and lost productivity due to death.
To help bring awareness to American Heart Month, we hope to offer a better understanding of the associated risk factors of heart disease, while sharing some tips and resources on how to improve your own heart health.
What is American Heart Month?
February is American Heart Month and hopes to advocate cardiovascular health and by raising awareness about heart disease. It’s the perfect month to focus our attention on ways to promote and maintain heart health.
The National Cancer Institute’s definition of Heart Disease (aka Cardiovascular disease) is: a disease that affects our heart or blood vessels. Coronary artery disease (narrow or blocked coronary arteries) leads as the most common type of heart disease which can lead to chest pain, heart attacks, or stroke. Other heart diseases include congestive heart failure, heart rhythm problems, congenital heart disease (heart disease at birth), and endocarditis (inflamed inner layer of the heart).
Having a better understanding of the risk factors associated with heart disease can mean the difference between life and death in some instances.
The leading risk factors for heart disease and stroke are:
high blood pressure
high low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol
smoking and second-hand smoke exposure
Investing time into your own self care and taking steps towards a heart-healthy lifestyle are critical especially if you are already diagnosed or are at high risk of developing heart disease.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cardiovascular disease is the world’s number one cause of death, killing over 17 million people every year.
The Importance of Heart Health
Good heart health is of great importance to overall good health. Taking steps towards and being able to maintain a healthy lifestyle at any age can prevent heart disease and lower your risk overall for a heart attack, stroke and many other conditions.
Heart disease is the #1 cause of death worldwide, and for the most part is preventable by changing your lifestyle and managing risk factors. Proper nutrition and activity are two key factors that can make a big improvement right now but just taking small steps in the right direction.
Consistency is the key to long term results for not only heart health but other goals like energy and stamina, strength, improving bone density and raising your overall level of health while also being the best way to maintain it.
Tips for a Healthy Heart
The most impactful ways you can prevent developing heart disease or to improve your current heart health are through a healthy diet and activity. Lifestyle changes can have a tremendous impact and change doesn’t always mean extreme.
You don’t need to hire a personal trainer or nutritionist either, often by simply making a conscious effort many of the tools needs are already accessible to you. For example - making healthier choices like going for a side salad here and there instead of the fries will not only offer more nutritional value but can contribute to better mental and physical health. Incorporating foods that bring the best nutrients for your needs is also an easy way to add on more value as well and energy, mental clarity and other positive effects.
If you are inactive now, don’t intimidate yourself by thinking you need to “workout” and hit the gym to get results. Try a light walk outside or on a treadmill, or even doing 20 minutes on an exercise step platform as a starting point. You can begin at a slow, steady pace to simply boost circulation, lymph and even your mood! Build up in time and intensity as you improve.
Resources for Heart Health
Many of our Lifepro members that have a diagnosed heart condition are living active lives by dedicating time to their self care. Whether you are maintaining or wanting to improve your health, we want to walk beside you every step of the way.
Lifepro offers a free online video library including workouts, therapeutic ideas and other great information on how to get moving when dealing with any number of different medical conditions including heart health.
Learn some simple ways to help boost your heart health during our dedication the Heart Month in our LIVE Q & A this Monday February 20th at 5pm EST. Our coach will share our top 3 self care tools and how to use them effectively. We encourage you to join this interactive session and invite you to ask any questions you may have or tip of your own that you may want to share with others within our amazingly supportive community!
Looking for more support and learning more about heart health? See the following resources:
American Heart Association -- www.heart.org
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -- www.cdc.gov/heartdisease
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute -- www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/education-and-awareness/heart-truth
Office on Women's Health, womenshealth.gov -- www.womenshealth.gov/heart-disease-and-stroke