“You have heart disease”  are three words you never want to hear, yet for millions, this conversation with their doctor happens daily. Did you know one person dies every 37 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease? Furthermore, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. About 647,000 Americans die from heart disease each year - that’s 1 in every 4 deaths. 



February is American Heart Month and even though the statistics may sound bleak, the good news is heart disease can often be prevented when people make the right choices when it comes to their health. Certain conditions and behaviors could put you at a higher for heart disease such as:

  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Physical inactivity
  • Unhealthy eating patterns
  • Smoking
Taking charge of your medical conditions such as your controlling your blood pressure, regularly checking your cholesterol, managing your medications and diseases such as diabetes is just one aspect of preventing heart disease. Here are some steps you can take today to ensure your heart  is healthy. 

Diet

Eating too many processed foods that are high in saturated and trans fats has been shown to contribute to heart disease. Eating a diet rich in fiber, low in sodium and fats, and sugar can help significantly reduce your risk when it comes to cardiovascular disease. Here is a list of heart-healthy foods you should consider adding to your diet. Evidence of the link between diet and heart disease grows stronger so what you put on your plate matters! 

  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Berries
  • Avocados
  • Fatty fish and fish oil
  • Nuts
  • Beans
  • Tomatoes
  • Seeds
  • Garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Edamame
  • Green tea 

Exercise 

It’s no surprise that physical activity has a multitude of benefits including maintaining a healthy weight, lowering your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Studies show that pairing a healthy diet along with exercise can not only prevent heart disease but reverse some risk factors. Luckily you don’t need expensive equipment to get started, simply walking can protect your heart against disease. 


  • The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity, or an equivalent combination each week.
  • Add moderate- to high-intensity muscle-strengthening activity (such as resistance or weights) on at least 2 days per week.
  • Spend less time sitting. Even light-intensity activity can offset some of the risks of being sedentary.
  • Gain even more benefits by being active at least 300 minutes (5 hours) per week.
  • Increase amount and intensity gradually over time.

Baptist Life Communities cares about the health of our residents and our staff who take care of them, as well as the families of our residents. At BLC, our goal is to enhance your lifestyle with quality choices provided by a dedicated and thankful staff. Since 1952, BLC has been steadily changing and growing, and we continue on this journey today. For more information, contact us today at (859) 283-8600 or sign up to receive the BLC Enews, which will be delivered to your email inbox.

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm

https://www.cdc.gov/features/heartmonth/index.html

https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/fitness-basics/aha-recs-for-physical-activity-in-adults