3 Ways to Take Care of Your Heart During American Heart Month
With heart disease being the leading cause of death in the United States, it’s time we put an increased focus on truly loving and taking care of your heart. Since February is American Heart Month, now is a great time to get started.
Discussing your heart health and ways to prevent heart disease should be on the top of everyone’s list when visiting your primary care provider/doctor. But checking in and taking care of your heart shouldn’t stop when you leave the doctor’s office. There are ways you can be actionable about your heart health at home. Below, we’ve compiled some of our best tips on ways to manage your heart health, including what heart numbers matter, ways to track your heart health and how you can make smart lifestyle decisions to keep your heart in check.
Know Your Numbers for a Healthy Heart
Receiving your lab results from your doctor can be nerve-wracking and honestly, a bit confusing. There are so many numbers and ranges to remember, we often have to ask ourselves: What is normal blood pressure? What are normal cholesterol levels? What heart numbers really matter? When it comes to your heart health, numbers you should keep in mind include your cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, and BMI. These numbers all work together to determine your future risk of heart attack or stroke. In Know Your Numbers for a Healthy Heart, you’ll find a 101 guide to heart numbers, complete with ideal ranges for each indicator.
Track Your Personal Heart Health
Learning your heart numbers and their ideal ranges is the first step in managing your heart health. The second step is to act on this knowledge and begin tracking your heart numbers yourself. In Track Your Heart Health with These Tips, you’ll learn how to track your heart numbers at home. The blog post includes tips on how to get accurate readings and apps you can download to track and monitor your heart numbers long term.
Commit to Loving Your Heart All Year
Your heart is one of the most important organs in your body, it deserves love year-round, not just during American Heart Month. In 5 Ways to Love Your Heart All Year, you’ll discover how to improve your heart health naturally. From increasing your vegetable intake to upping your daily exercise, these are things you can do at home or work with your primary care provider to achieve.
This February, commit to loving your heart throughout the year. By knowing your heart numbers, learning how to track them and making heart-healthy lifestyle decisions, you can lower your risk of heart disease and keep your heart full for years to come.
About Dr. Larry Wu
Larry Wu, MD is a regional medical director for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina and provides consultative services for employee health solutions, prevention, chronic disease, care management, medical expense and utilization management. He is a family physician with over 20 years in clinical practice, has served as clinic director in the Indian Health Service, Kaiser Permanente and Duke Family Medicine and currently maintains a part-time clinical practice.