Do you take your heart for granted?
Come on, be honest! How much thought do you give to your body’s hardworking hub?
February is American Heart Month, so why not take a few minutes to send some love and appreciation your heart’s way. After all…
It never takes a break.
It will beat about 2.5 billion times over your lifetime, moving millions of gallons of blood to and from every nook and cranny in your body.
Without your heart, every other body function will fail — some almost instantly.
With stats like these, your heart deserves more than just a month of celebration. It deserves a lifetime of loving care — starting NOW. What can you do that really matters?
After all, you can’t see your heart, so it can be hard to know if it’s struggling.
If you’re young and your ticker is ticking, it’s easy to believe everything’s cool. The truth is your lifestyle NOW can affect your heart LATER. With a few lifestyle adjustments, you can nip heart-harming problems in the bud before they cause damage.
Let’s look at a few habits that really matter.
What you eat matters. A healthy diet has a protective effect on your heart. No matter how old you are, it’s not too late (or too early!) to start making small, healthy changes in what you eat. For example, watch your portion size. Choose fresh over processed foods. Limit your salt. Opt for whole grains and high fiber foods.
Want some help taking your diet to the next level? Check out lifestyle management with Nicole or Courtney, our onsite ActiveHealth coaches.
How much you move matters. Are you physically active 30 minutes a day, most days of the week, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control? If not, no sweat. Even getting as little as 5-10 minutes a few times a week still counts. You can work up from there as you get stronger.
We can help you tailor an exercise plan that works for you, and get you the support and guidance you need. Call the ParTNers Center at 615-741-1709.
What you breathe matters. Smoking is one of the worst things you can do to your heart. That includes firsthand and secondhand smoke! And yes, even vaping.
We can help you quit. The ParTNers Center offers quit aids. And Frances, our behavioral health counselor, and Nicole or Courtney, our onsite health coaches, can provide added support.
Family history matters. Do you have diabetes, high cholesterol or high blood pressure — or a family history of these diseases? Getting tested and, if diagnosed, working with your provider to create a treatment plan, is one of the best things you can do for your heart.
The ParTNers Center can now screen for heart problems as well as diabetes, asthma, arthritis, and depression/anxiety. If you’re diagnosed with a chronic condition, we can provide treatment and ongoing management (including lab work and prescriptions).
Seeing your PCP when you’re not sick matters. Check out this article by our own medical director, Dr. Wilson. She explains why getting an annual physical is so important. She also outlines which screenings you need at different ages.
When you’re ready, make an appointment with us for your annual physical.
Getting enough sleep matters. Sleep is vital for a healthy heart. Conversely, sleep problems can put extra strain on your heart and increase your risk of heart attack.
If you’re not getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night, this article offers some helpful tips. Or make an appointment with one of our onsite ActiveHealth coaches by calling 615-741-1709.
Managing stress matters. This one may sound more like a “mind” than a “body” problem. But stress has very real physical effects. For example, it can cause your body to create stress hormones that could damage your heart.
If you’re struggling with stress, anxiety or depression, the ParTNers Center can help get you on a path to feeling better. And our onsite counselor, Frances, is available to help you talk things through.
The ParTNers Health & Wellness Center can help with all of these matters. We would love to support you in pursuing better heart (and overall) health. Call us today at 615-741-1709. We’ll either help you make an appointment with one of our providers or connect you with one of the onsite ActiveHealth coaches.