As we approach the end of American Heart Health Month, it is important to keep in mind how dangerous heart disease is. As pharmacists, you can do your part in prevention through education. Here are some heart healthy tips to share with your customers to promote a heart healthy lifestyle.
- Know Your Genealogy
It is important for everyone to know if there is a history of disease in their family, especially heart disease. If you know ahead of time, it’s easier to get a handle on it early on.
- Maintain a Healthy Diet
While splurging on fast food and ice-cream sundaes every once in a while, is perfectly okay, unless your doctor says otherwise, there are some foods that are essential. Try to eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products. It’s a good idea to avoid food that are high in salt, saturated fat, and added sugar.
- Stay Active
While getting at least 150 minutes of exercise a week is important, it is extremely important to get on your feet. This is not an easy task for those who have desk jobs. An easy way for office workers to get moving is to park farther away from the office or take a couple of short walks around the office, which is also reduces stress and creates more focus in the long run.
- Avoid Smoking
This includes secondhand smoke and other tobacco products as well. While smoking itself does a lot of damage to one’s lungs, secondhand smoke has its own factors on health. The chemicals emitted from cigarette smoke promote the development of plaque buildup in the arteries.
- Moderate Your Drinking
Certain types of alcohol, such as wine, do have proven health benefits for your brain, heart, and other vital organs. Excessive alcohol intake not only effects your liver, but it can lead to high blood pressure, heart failure or stroke. Excessive drinking can also contribute to cardiomyopathy, a disorder that affects the heart muscle.
- Practice Good Dental Hygiene
Believe it or not, dental health is a good indication of overall health, including your heart. This is because those who have periodontal (gum) disease often have the same risk factors for heart disease.
- Prioritize Your Sleep
Sleep is an essential part of keeping a heart healthy. If you don’t sleep enough, you may be at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease no matter your age or other health habits. Lack of sleep has been proven to lead to health conditions like high blood pressure.
- Take Time to Relax
Managing stress can help prevent serious health problems like heart disease, depression, and high blood pressure. Deep breathing and meditation are good ways to relax and manage stress.