Every February, we take the time to observe American Heart Month to bring awareness to the millions of people who suffer from heart disease. The term blankets several different cardiac-related illnesses, including abnormal heartbeat, coronary artery disease, heart failure, cardiomyopathy, deficiencies of the heart valves, infection, or congenital defects of the heart muscles. These diseases affect all ages, genders, and ethnic backgrounds, and are the #1 cause of death in the United States. As we learn more about these illnesses, physicians can more accurately diagnose patients with early-onset symptoms to increase their chances for a full recovery. Below are some tips for ways to be kind to your heart!

With diet, exercise, and a healthy lifestyle, you can significantly reduce your risk of cardiac-related disease. Making healthy choices like incorporating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats and reducing salt and sugar intake can help support a healthy heart. Always stay hydrated and substitute those sugary drinks for water! If you do drink alcohol, do so in moderation. If you smoke, quitting now can reduce your risk of developing heart disease. By making nutritionally conscious choices in your everyday life you can significantly reduce your risk of developing any illness, including heart disease.

By staying active and getting regular exercise, you work-out the muscles you can see and the muscles you cannot see! Your heart thrives on aerobic activities, and by exercising your heart muscles, you can strengthen them to help prevent disease. Increasing blood flow through exercise can reduce plaque buildup in the arteries, lower blood pressure, and keeps the heart muscles performing at their best. Regular physical activity reduces your risk for a wide variety of chronic conditions, including heart disease.

At Roger’s Family Pharmacy, we know that prevention is key to maintaining overall health and wellness. If you have a family history of heart disease, knowing your risk factors and informing your doctor about your family history is crucial. Your physician can help point you in the right direction to get you started on the road to heart health long before you could experience any symptoms. Get emergency medical attention if you experience chest pain, shortness of breath, swelling in your extremities, irregular or pounding heartbeat, dizziness, or lightheadedness, as you may be experiencing symptoms of a heart attack. Talk with your primary care physician about other ways to improve your cardiac health and get on the path to a happy heart! You may also consult your local pharmacist at Roger’s Family Pharmacy at (601) 582-8351 for additional information.