5 Heart Disease Prevention Tips for American Heart Month

Every 34 seconds, a person in the U.S. dies from heart disease. This adds up to nearly 700,000 deaths each year, about one out of every five, and makes heart disease the leading cause of death in America.

So what can you and your loved ones do to prevent heart disease?

This American Heart Month is the perfect time to start taking steps to live healthier. Heart disease prevention requires awareness and dedicated effort. But by taking action, you can help yourself and your loved ones avoid being a statistic.

What is Heart Disease?
Many people assume heart disease is a single condition. However, the term refers to a group of similar conditions that affect the heart and blood vessels.
The most common type of heart disease is coronary artery disease. This occurs when the blood vessels that carry blood to the heart become blocked or narrowed. If left untreated, this can lead to a heart attack. The CDC estimates that 20.1 million adults age 20 and older have coronary artery disease.
Other types of heart disease include arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat), heart failure, and heart valve disease.

Heart Disease Risk Factors to Know
There are many risk factors for heart disease. Unfortunately, the unhealthy lifestyle led by many Americans contains most of them. Limiting your risks helps prevent heart disease and other dangerous conditions.

But what are the risks?
Heart disease risk factors you should know include:
• High blood pressure (hypertension)
• Smoking
• High cholesterol levels
• Diabetes
• Obesity or being overweight
• Unhealthy diet
• Physical inactivity
• Excessive alcohol use
• Family history of heart disease

Heart Disease Prevention Tips You Can Use Right Now
You know the basics of heart disease and the important risk factors. Now, you can take steps to reduce your risk. Heart disease prevention tips tend to share a common theme—leading a healthier lifestyle.
Following these steps is an effective way to reduce your heart disease risk. But you should always talk with your doctor before making significant changes to your diet, medications, or lifestyle.

1. Eat a Healthier Diet
Your diet plays a huge role in your heart health. Foods high in fat and sugar both increase your risk of heart disease and cause damage to your blood vessels. Meanwhile, eating whole foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can lower your risk.
As an added benefit, eating a healthier diet also helps you reduce your risk for diabetes and obesity!

2. Get Plenty of Exercise
Are you moving enough? Studies show that 25% of Americans do no physical activity outside of their job. A lack of exercise increases your risk of heart disease and is one of the easiest risk factors to change.
The American Heart Association recommends getting at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity each week. This means you should feel your heart beating faster and your breath coming faster, but still be able to talk while exercising. Some ideas for moderate-intensity exercise include:
• Walking
• Casual biking
• Gardening
• Dancing
• Swimming
3. Stop Smoking
Smoking is one of the most significant risk factors for heart disease. In fact, smoking actively damages your blood vessels, making them less flexible and more prone to blockages.
With this in mind, quitting is one of the best things you can do for your heart health.
But giving up smoking is a challenge. Make sure you have the right support system in place first to help you keep going when quitting gets difficult. Community groups, support meetings, and your doctor are all great resources to consider.

4. Lower Your Stress
While everyone feels stressed on occasion, chronic stress has a major impact on your heart health when left untreated. Stress leads to inflammation, high blood pressure, and increased cholesterol levels. Many people also develop unhealthy habits to cope with their stress.
These factors all increase your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
To reduce your risk, start by reducing your stress. Finding ways to relax and decrease your stress can be difficult in the face of work, relationships, and responsibilities you have. But doing so is essential for good heart health.
A few popular ways to help reduce stress include:
• Mindfulness
• Exercise
• Fun activities
• Journaling
• Getting plenty of sleep
• Enjoying the outdoors

5. Get a Cholesterol and High Blood Pressure Screening
If you eat an unhealthy diet or don’t get enough exercise, there’s a good chance you may also have high blood pressure and/or high cholesterol. Both increase your risk of heart disease and are known as “silent killers” since they often come with no symptoms.
Knowing if you have high blood pressure or cholesterol can help you make positive changes to your lifestyle.
And getting screened is quick and easy. You can do so at your primary care provider’s office or most urgent care locations. Regular screenings help you track your results over time and determine if the changes you make are working.

Velocity Urgent Care is Here to Help
If you’re ready to start lowering your risk of heart disease, Velocity Urgent Care is here to help. We offer cholesterol screening and high blood pressure screening at all of our locations. You can stop in on your schedule or reserve an appointment ahead of time to skip the wait.
Our friendly, knowledgeable providers will also discuss ways you can make your lifestyle healthier and help you understand your results.
We’re also here for any other health concerns, injuries, or illnesses you’re dealing with. We treat cold/flu symptoms, burns, minor cuts, sprains/strains, broken bones, and much more.
Velocity Urgent Care offers convenient online registration that helps you limit your contact with others during your visit. You can sign up for an appointment online to skip the waiting room and arrive when it’s your turn to be seen.
We even offer text message updates so you can wait in the car (if you prefer) until it’s time for your appointment.
Velocity Urgent Care is an in-network provider for most major insurance plans, meaning you can be seen for the cost of your co-pay and deductible.
All our locations also accept Medicare, Medicaid, and Tricare. Veterans Administration beneficiaries are also welcome.
To learn more about our services, locations, hours, and more, visit www.velocityuc.com.

1.) 5 Heart Disease Prevention Tips for American Heart Month (Delivery Feb 10)
-February is American Heart Month
-This post will provide heart disease prevention education and tips on living healthier. It will have a similar structure to this article (https://instantuc.com/american-heart-month-how-to-effectively-prevent-and-manage-heart-disease/).
-CTA will encourage readers to come in for a wellness screening, including a cholesterol, BP, and weight check, which are all risks for heart disease.
-SEO for heart disease prevention, cholesterol testing, and American Heart Month