February is American Heart Month, the perfect time to help others develop heart healthy habits. Remember, we are more successful at meeting our health goals when we join forces with others. For American Heart Month 2019, make a pact with others to be heart healthy.
Heart disease is responsible for one in every 4 deaths in America, and is the number one cause of death worldwide. But heart disease does not just happen to older adults; more and more often it is afflicting younger adults as the risk factors are being found earlier in life. In fact, half of all Americans have at least one of the top three risk factors for heart disease – high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking.
But there is good news. Heart disease can often be prevented when people make healthy choices and manage their health conditions. Advanced practice nurses spend most of their time caring for others. This singular focus on others is noble, however, oftentimes comes at the expense of self-care. Caring for yourself is not selfish, rather it is necessary so that you can provide top-notch care to others. Focus on following a high-nutrient diet, getting plenty of rest, and engaging in lots of activity. You can also find ways to be uplifted and energized by things that you enjoy; perks like a daily coffee, weekly yoga, or a regularly scheduled massage can fuel you so that you can provide the necessary care for others.
Making heart healthy choices is easier with the support of others. For American Heart Month, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) is launching #OurHearts, which is a national initiative to encourage and motivate everyone to adopt heart healthy behaviors, together. Whether at work, at home, in your community, or online, #OurHearts celebrates the power and strength of acting together to be heart healthy.