The month of February is known for Valentine’s day. However, as of February 2, 2017, the Whitehouse declares the entire month of February as the American Heart Month.
The heart is one of the major and important parts of the body. It delivers oxygen-rich blood in the entire body.
Every beat of the heart means life. Let us not only consider February as a relationship month but as a means to raise health awareness.
American Heart Month = Heart Health Awareness
During the declaration of February as the American Heart Month, the CDC is encouraging men and women to take charge of their health.
Heart-related diseases lead the cause of death in men and women.
High blood pressure or hypertension, which lead to heart disease and eventually stroke are the common heart-related problems.
Taking full responsibility by to maintain heart health is an essential endeavor.
Wear Red Day
The American Heart Association encouraged people to join the National Wear Red Day. The Wear Red Day symbolizes the American Heart Month in the beginning of February.
The wearing of red during Wear Red Day is a support to increase awareness and knowledge that heart disease is a leading threat. It also means supporting the fight of heart disease by becoming more aware of a way of life for better heart health.
It’s not really a fight but an effort to be more knowledgeable on what to do to not only focus on heart health but overall health and wellness.
How To Achieve A Health Heart?
When it comes to nutrition, eating a non-inflammatory diet like the Mediterranean way of eating is ideal.
Moreover, physical activities are not limited to regular exercise at home or gym. Anything that involves movement even walking briskly, climbing the stairs of the building while at work, and even doing house works fall under physical activities.
In short, make sure you keep moving and avoid sitting for long hours. A sedentary lifestyle with unhealthy eating is one of the leading causes of metabolic diseases including heart-related illnesses.
Heart and Sexual Health Connection
In men, erectile dysfunction is one the earlier warning for heart disease. The male penis consists of small blood vessels smaller than those found in the heart.
When there something wrong within the cardiovascular health, it manifests on the penis. This makes the penis a good barometer for men’s health. Hence, when something is wrong with your erection quality and it’s consistent, consult and ask your doctor about it.
Sure, there is Viagra and other equivalent medications called PDE5i, but it’s not really a long-term solution. Instead, go for a holistic approach particularly focusing on good nutrition and regular exercise.
Foods For The Heart
The British Heart Foundation recommends eating rainbow color foods for better heart health. These foods consist of fruits and vegetables.
When you eat healthy especially organic foods, it’s not just the heart that benefits from it. Instead, affects the entire body in a positive way. In addition, it’s not just for adults, but best for kids, too.
The phytonutrients along with the vitamins and minerals in both fruits and vegetables work together to support good health. So, eat the rainbow whenever you can and always prefer organic.
Lifestyle Changes That Supports The Heart
The primary means of overall health including the heart-healthy lifestyle practices. Targeting heart health only with a drug may be helpful during an emergency but for long-term health maintenance, healthy lifestyle practices are ideal.
Below are a quick list of healthy lifestyle practices not only for better heart health but overall wellness. Let’s start with…
1. Eat Right
Eating right means a good nutrition plan. However, don’t fret when you hear the word “plan”. For most people it means hiring a dietician or nutritionist.
While you’re free to do so especially if you’re not aware of what to eat, it’s not a requirement. Simply knowing organic whole foods such as fruits and vegetables, as well as organic meat and dairy, it is a good start.
There is no magic in these foods. They work well for better health because they contain the necessary nutrients the body need to function properly.
2. Regular Exercise
The CDC says there are no excuses and regular exercise should be a part of a healthy lifestyle. Adults need 2.5 hours physical activity every week. The exercise is equivalent to doing moderate intensity exercises such as brisk walking.
You’ll find more details on the breakdown for exercise recommendations in terms of hours and intensity at the CDC website.
Although yoga seems subtle and light, it has many health benefits for both mind and body. Making the body and mind work harmoniously is key to good health.
As a matter of fact, the word yoga comes from the Sanskrit word “yug” means union. The union here means uniting the body and mind connection.
The American Heart Association recognizes yoga’s benefits for health and even has recommendations for it.
In one small trial1, yoga shows promising evidence for improving cardio-metabolic health. Many supported this findings yoga is being recommended as primary and secondary prevention for cardiovascular disease2.
The Johns Hopkins Medicine also calls yoga as a heart booster.
If you’re practicing yoga, it’s highly likely you’re practicing meditation, too. Both meditation and yoga are an amazing bridge between mind and body. It is also an effective stress management keeping the stress level at a minimum without affecting the health.
Just like yoga, there are studies3 that support the benefits of meditation for cardiovascular health.
5. Stress Management
6. Consult Your Doctor
While all of the above are highly recommended, you should not neglect a regular visit to your doctor.
Supplements for Heart Health
Supplements such as Vitamin D play an important role for heart health. Of course, the best way to get the right kind of Vitamin D, which is D3 comes from the sun.
A regular sun exposure would be a good idea. However, if you’re in a region where there is a limited sunlight, taking supplementation plus eating foods rich in Vitamin D is another option.
Aside from Vitamin D, there are several others considered as best supplements for heart health.
For other supplements for heart health, consult your doctor especially if you’re taking medications to ensure there would be no complications.