American Heart Month – Love Your Heart in February and Beyond

American Heart Month – Love Your Heart in February and Beyond

February is American Heart Month, a time to raise awareness about the leading cause of death in the United States: Heart Disease. According to the American Heart Association, over 874,000 Americans died of cardiovascular disease in 2019, and every year, over 800,000 Americans will have a heart attack. In 2021, heart-related deaths in Avoyelles Parish were 34% higher than the state average. Heart disease can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, race, or ethnicity.

In this article, we’ll share some signs and symptoms of heart disease that you should watch out for, and some recommendations on how to keep your heart healthy and happy at home. Whether you’re a woman or a man, young or old, it’s never too late (or early) to start taking care of your heart!

Signs and Symptoms of Heart Disease

Heart disease is not a single condition, but a group of disorders that affect the heart and blood vessels. Some common types of heart disease are coronary artery disease, which causes blockages in the arteries that supply blood to the heart; arrhythmia, which causes irregular heartbeats; and heart failure, which means the heart can’t pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs.

Some signs and symptoms of heart disease may include, but not limited to:

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Swelling in the legs, ankles or feet
  • Nausea or vomiting

These symptoms may vary depending on the type and severity of heart disease. If you experience any of these symptoms, especially if they are sudden or severe, don’t ignore them. Call 911 or seek emergency medical attention right away. Don’t die of doubt. Remember, every second counts when it comes to your heart.

Recommendations for Preventing Heart Disease

Heart disease is not inevitable, and the best way to prevent heart disease is to adopt a heart-healthy lifestyle, such as:

  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Being physically active
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Managing your stress
  • Quitting smoking
  • Limit alcohol intake
  • Check your blood pressure and cholesterol regularly
  • Get regular checkups and screenings from your healthcare provider
  • Take your medications as prescribed and follow your treatment plan

These lifestyle changes may not only lower your risk of heart disease, but also improve your overall health and well-being. You’ll feel more energetic happier, and confident. And you’ll be able to enjoy life more with your loved ones!

We offer a variety of services that can help you achieve your heart-healthy goals, such as:

  • Cardiac Rehab– A program tailored specifically to your heart-related conditions and goals under the guidance of a registered nurse
  • BGH Fitness Center– Offering guidance from a personal trainer, boot camps and weight management resources
  • Coronary Calcium Scoring CT Scans– A scan to help determine if you have heart disease
  • Chronic Care Management– A program with a personalized health plan helping you stay on top of your goals, needs, and preferences specific to your health needs
  • Be sure to check-out our complete list of services for more information!

Join the #OurHearts Movement

You don’t have to do it alone. Join the #OurHearts movement and connect with others committed to living a heart-healthy lifestyle. Share your stories, tips, and challenges on social media using the hashtag #OurHearts. Find inspiration and support from people who understand what you’re going through. And celebrate your achievements and milestones together.

You can also participate in events and activities being offered during American Heart Month, such as Wear Red Day (usually the first Friday of February), which aims to raise awareness that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. Be on the lookout for any events being scheduled locally, like free health screenings or CPR classes. You can also find resources, tools, and information on the websites of the American Heart Association, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other organizations that promote heart health.

Remember, your heart is your most vital organ. It pumps blood to every cell in your body. It beats about 100,000 times a day. It loves you unconditionally. So show it some love back. Take action today to protect your heart and reclaim your rhythm. You have the power to make a difference!

This article is for informational purposes only and not intended for medical diagnosis or treatment. Always talk to your medical provider for any questions or concerns relating to your health. 

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