By Physical Therapy Doctors of Florida
February is not just about heart-shaped candy boxes, but since President Lyndon B. Johnson
proclaimed it in 1963 , it has been celebrated as American Heart Month , one of the most broadly
celebrated Health Awareness months on record. The goal of American Heart Month is to
eradicate heart disease (the Number 1 killer of Americans!) and stroke by reinforcing the need
for research and raising awareness of how to decrease the likelihood of developing
According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute , about 1,441,000 people in our own
state of Florida have been diagnosed with coronary heart disease. This is the most common
form of heart disease, but the most current research shows that the majority of cases would
have been entirely preventable through healthy lifestyle choices.
Physicians agree that some of the most basic steps will readily contribute to a healthier heart
and an all-around healthier life.
● Eat Clean: A heart-healthy diet includes choosing fruits and vegetables while limiting
saturated and trans-fats and added sugar. Avoid processed foods and limit alcohol.
● Sleep more: Arranging your schedule to accommodate more sleep will allow your body
more time to self-repair and recover from daily life stress.
● Quit Smoking: Quitting smoking can only help your all-around well-being. Studies have
shown a 50 percent or greater decrease in the risk of recurrent heart attack and
cardiovascular death after ending the habit.
● Continue Learning: Take advantage of your local resources offered year-round. Our
very own Manatee Memorial Hospital offers a monthly Healthy Hearts Support Group to
help keep you on track toward your Heart health goals.
● Exercise: Any exercise at all is a step in the right direction! 20-30 minutes 3-4 times a
week is a great and practical stage to reach. Moving around more and rebuilding your
strength and endurance will benefit your heart, muscles, and joints dramatically. Studies
have shown mitigated risk through walking, swimming, weightlifting… So it really doesn’t
matter what you do, but get moving!
Of course, at Physical Therapy Doctors of Florida, we realize that it is sometimes easier said
than done. And that is exactly where physical therapy can come into play! Maybe you’ve
suffered an injury or arthritis and can’t move like you used to. Or maybe your range of motion is
limited from allowing yourself to be sedentary. No matter what your situation, our team is here to
Safe, pain-decreasing exercise is our physical therapists ’ specialty . They’re ready to teach you
how to move again without pain. They will determine exactly which exercises and how much is
appropriate for you. This is not like getting a personal trainer at the gym! These are highly
trained, professionally certified practitioners utilizing science-based, hands-on physical therapy
designed specifically for YOU. Our physical therapy doctors will teach you techniques that can
restore your strength, endurance, balance, and pain-free mobility.
Another important factor for a healthy heart is avoiding stress and hypertension. Pain caused
by injuries and diseases only increases the amount of chronic stress your heart and body is
subjected to. Decreasing pain and enabling the normal function of your body in everyday tasks
minimizes this chronic stress and creates a healthy physical environment for your heart and
Bradenton’s own Physical Therapy Doctors of Florida are qualified, experienced, and eager to
assist you in finding an overall healthy lifestyle right for you. Get more information or schedule
an appointment by calling us at (941) 264-1414.