February is the month when heart health is the focus. It’s easy to remember, with all the Valentine’s Day decorations around, and Vybe Urgent Care makes it easy to come in and start a preliminary screening for heart health. If you think you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, please call 911, but if you’re on a journey to discover how healthy your heart is, we can help.
Who is At Risk for Heart Disease?
There are some risk factors that you can’t do anything about when it comes to heart disease. Heredity is a big issue, so it is important to know your family’s health history. Risk increases as you get older, and men are more likely to have heart disease than women.
There are some risk factors that can be controlled. Those who are overweight or smoke are more likely to suffer from heart disease. Cholesterol issues, including a high LDL, or a low HDL are also an issue, along with high blood pressure. Those who struggle to keep diabetes or stress under control are more susceptible to cardiac problems, as are those who are physically inactive.
What are Signs and Symptoms of a Cardiac Problem?
Sometimes, health problems sneak up on you little by little, and you don’t even realize there is an issue. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, don’t panic, but it might be time to get things checked out. Any kind of discomfort in the chest, including pain, squeezing, a heaviness, pressure, or aching should be investigated. Sometimes that discomfort can spread to the arms, shoulders, neck, and back. Shortness of breath, heart palpitations, dizziness, nausea, and sweating are also warning signs of a possible heart problem. Swelling in the lower extremities is also associated with some heart disorders.
8 Ways to Improve Heart Health
Thankfully, there’s almost always something you can do to improve your heart’s health. When making lifestyle changes, it’s always a good idea to take small steps and acclimate yourself to the new normal. Always check with a medical professional before starting a new diet or exercise plan too.
Move more. The easiest way to accomplish this goal is with a pedometer. Whether you buy a basic model or a fancy device that syncs with your phone, you can keep track of how many steps you take, and know when you’re sitting around too much. The goal for most people is 10,000 steps each day, but to start to figure out how many steps you take and then try to increase it by a 1,000.
1.Start the day with a healthy breakfast. Choose fruit and whole grains to kick off your day.
2.When you feel the urge to snack, reach for some nuts. Nuts contain healthy fats that are good for your heart.
3.Go to bed earlier. Strive for at least seven hours of sleep each night, because those with better sleep habits usually have a healthier heart.
4.Watch your salt intake. Excess sodium in the diet usually raises blood pressure, which can be a starting point for cardiac issues.
5.Cut back on fats. Sweets and red meat are two of the worst things for someone with heart problems.
6.Stop smoking. Not an easy feat, but necessary. Even if you’ve smoked for decades, quitting now can reverse some of the damage not only to your heart but to your lungs.
7.Find a way to manage stress. Take your anger out on a punching bag, or just spend some time laughing with friends. When you find a way to relieve the pressure, your heart will thank you.
If you have any concerns about your heart health, or it’s just been awhile since you have had it checked out, stop into Vybe Urgent Care. We are open weekends and evenings and don’t require an appointment. We can listen to your ticker, check your blood pressure, and even do some cholesterol tests right in our office so you can know where you stand. For our Roxborough/Manayunk location, contact us at (215) 999-6060, or call (215) 999-3356 for the Port Richmond location. We are also open at two new locations. Call (215) 999-1420 for our Center City location, and (215) 999-1217 for the South Philly office.