February is American Heart Month (free PDF)

February is American Heart Month (free PDF)

by Dr. Carly Catanese, DPT 

Heart Month - Running can help your heart Why do we observe Heart Month every year? It’s because heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States, and you can take steps to take better care of your heart. MoveMend can help.

Heart health is a concern for everyone. If you think heart disease only affects older adults, that’s a commonly believed myth.  The choices you make now influence not only your current but your future health.  Lifestyle choices and genetics can lead to increased risk factors for disease. It’s important you get your yearly physical to check your blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight and discuss any medical concerns you have with your physician.

Heart Month means increased awareness

You don’t have to have physical symptoms to be at risk for heart disease.  Known risk factors for heart disease include some of the following:

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • Unhealthy eating habits
  • Inactivity
  • Smoking

One of the reasons the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) organizes Heart Month every year is to highlight ways you can lower your risk for heart disease. Though you may be genetically predisposed to high blood pressure or high cholesterol, you can make a number of lifestyle choices (i.e. diet and exercise) to reduce your levels. Make sure you consult with your primary care doctor to determine the best course of action for you. Medications may be indicated to effectively lower your risk.

The benefits of physical activity and exercise are endless, but just to name a few:

  • Increases energy
  • Boosts mood
  • Reduces stress
  • Helps to manage/lower blood pressure, cholesterol
  • Improves brain function and memory
  • Lowers risk of chronic disease
  • Weight loss/management
  • Improves bone health, reduces risk of osteoporosis

If you need guidance, we would be happy to help you at MoveMend! In February, we are offering free Functional Movement Screens to first-time training clients, or clients who haven’t trained with us in six months. This is a great tool to help you exercise safely and improve areas of weakness so you feel confident to move more in your daily life.

Keep heart healthy and get exercising today! Need some ideas? Check out this free PDF fact sheet on moving more from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute for some great tips.

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