With February comes Valentine’s Day, heart-shaped candies, chocolate, and jewelry. But it should also bring to mind a much more important heart – yours.
February is American Heart Month, a month-long observation that works to raise awareness of the importance of a healthy heart, educate about heart health, and encourage healthy habits that help reduce the risk of heart disease.
The heart truly is an amazing organ. Its main function seems simple – to keep oxygenated blood circulating throughout your body – but you may be surprised by how hard it works and how intricate it is.
Consider these interesting facts:
- Your heart beats over 100,000 times per day.
- Your heart pumps about 1.5 gallons of blood every minute. Over the course of a day, that adds up to over 2,000 gallons.
- There are 60,000 miles of blood vessels in your body. That’s enough to go around the world twice.
- Every cell in the human body gets blood from the heart except for the cornea.
- The right side of your heart pumps blood into your lungs. The left side of your heart pumps blood back through your body.
When the heart is not working correctly, it is a great threat to our health.
Every year more than 600,000 Americans die from heart disease. Heart disease affects all ages, genders, and ethnicities. Risk factors include high cholesterol, high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, and excessive alcohol use.
And heart disease is not new. Egyptian mummies, some more than 3,500 years old, show signs of cardiovascular disease.
All of this adds up to the fact that heart health is critically important and should be top of mind.
You can observe Heart Health Month by making sure we are doing these three things consistently.
Maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system and a healthy weight are among the most important things you can do to stave off high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. Make sure you are getting your cardio in! If you struggle with laying out a workout plan that’s right for you, VIDA Personal Trainers are here to help.
Diet is critically important when it comes to heart health and really – all areas of health and wellness. Setting up nutritional goals and figuring out your meal plans can be daunting and time-consuming. Many people suffer from a lack of proper nutrition and lack of certain vitamins and don’t even know it. VIDA Registered Dieticians can provide practical, personalized advice to help you lose weight, build muscle, tone up, gain weight, increase athletic performance, or simply educate you on general nutrition. If you haven’t worked with a professional on your diet, it might be time to consider it.
Get Checked Annually
Make sure you schedule your annual physical which includes blood pressure and cholesterol checks. Always follow your doctor’s advice.
Here’s to taking our cardiovascular health to heart this month and all year long!