The New Year is a time of resolutions and goal-making. Why not choose to make your health your priority for 2018? Whether the change is big or small, any step towards living a healthier life is a step to be proud of! Check out these 5 lifestyle changes you can make this year to improve your health.
- Know Your Numbers
Are you one of the 103 million Americans who have high blood pressure? High blood pressure typically has no symptoms but can lead to deadly health consequences such as heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure. Knowing your numbers and making the lifestyle changes below can help to save your life.
- Quit Smoking
Smoking is the most preventable cause of premature death in the United States. Smokers have a higher risk of developing many chronic disorders, including atherosclerosis — the buildup of fatty substances in the arteries — which can lead to coronary heart disease and stroke. Quit smoking today to start improving your life immediately.
- Learn CPR
Learning CPR might not save your life, but it will save the lives of your loved ones if ever needed. In the United States alone, more than 350,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur each year. Give the gift of life this season by learning CPR.
- Know The Warning Signs
Patients often hold back in seeking medical care during the holiday season. If you or a loved one experiences the warning signs of heart attack, don’t delay, call 9-1-1 immediately. Heart attack warning signs include:
- Discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
- Discomfort in other areas of the upper body, including pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
- Shortness of breath, with or without chest discomfort.
- Other signs may include breaking out into a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
- Add Exercise and Eat Healthy
Start a new routine this year and don’t forget to make time for your heart! To improve overall cardiovascular health, the American Heart Association suggests at least thirty minutes of exercise a day, five times a week. The winter time may have you reaching for comfort food, but opt for lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds, fish, skinless poultry, and plant-based side dishes and main courses – all of these can be just as comforting and good for your heart!
Know someone who has made amazing lifestyle changes? Find a local Heart Walk near you and nominate them for our Lifestyle Change Award!