February is Heart month. This is an important time for me because my father died of a heart attack at the age of 59. I was 14. I don’t want that to happen to anyone in this day and age especially because we know an important fact about heart disease… it is preventable.

Let’s get a beat on how important it is to take care of one of the most important parts of your body.

Did you know:

  • The heart weighs 11oz and is about the size of a pear.
  • The heart beats on average 72 beats per minute/100,000 beats per day/3.6 million beats per year and 2.5 billion beats in a lifetime! As they say.. “the beat goes on”!
  • The heart pumps 5 quarts of blood through 60,000 miles of blood vessels each day!
  • The heart is working 24/7/365 to keep you who you are.

Your heart is working hard for you and that is why it is so important to work hard for your heart.

Many people believe that the number one killer today is Cancer. Actually, it is Cardiovascular Disease that causes 611,105 deaths per year (FDA). American Heart Association reports that 80 million adults in the US have at least one form of heart disease.

Know your risk factors:

  • Family History: It’s important to know if you have a family history of heart disease especially if a first degree male relative has died of a CV event before the age of 55 and a female relative has died before 65.
  • Eating Habits: Do you eat on the go, eat fast foods, processed foods and not enough fruits and vegetables?
  • Activity Level: Do you sit in front of a computer all day and in front of the TV all evening?
  • Stress: Are you under a lot of stress and find little time in your life to do the things that bring you joy?

Here is the official list of Risk Factors:

  • High blood pressure
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Diabetes and prediabetes
  • Smoking
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Being physically inactive
  • Having a family history of early heart disease
  • Having a history of preeclampsia during pregnancy
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Age (55 or older for women) (NHLBI, 2017)

Studies have shown that lifestyle changes play an important role in reversing the effects of heart disease. Making a change takes time. Over time you can gain confidence in the ability to make healthy choices, be more accountable and committed to doing the things that work for you to make you feel healthy.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider to learn your personal risk for heart disease.
  • Quit smoking. Did you know that just one year after you quit, you’ll cut your risk of coronary heart disease by 50 percent?
  • Get moving! Exercising 150 minute per week. Taking ten minute walks 2-3 times a day counts. Take the stairs. Park at the end of the parking lot, do stretching exercises while watching TV.
  • Eat smart, with a focus on adding more whole foods and reducing processed foods. Watch your portions. Make most of your food choices healthy ones. Notice how you start to have more energy and less stomach pain after eating a healthier meal.
  • Create balance and vitality in your life.

Be good to yourself!

You have my heartfelt thanks.
Joan Kiely, NP

If you are at risk for heart disease and don’t know where to start, RemedyNow can help. Call us at 262-312-9095 to learn about our integrative approach to lifestyle change. We want to help you be at your best!