Heart Health As We Age
February 2021 is American Heart Month. Every year, we turn our attention toward the importance of strengthening and maintaining a healthy heart. Keeping an active focus on heart health can be especially challenging with everything from politics to pandemics demanding our attention and contributing to our collective stress level. Our cardiovascular system can also take a back seat to other physical problems, especially as we age and find our bodies feeling and acting differently than before. But this is a good opportunity to bring it back around to that special little pump that keeps us going every day and make sure we are giving it proper attention.
Cardiovascular issues are quite common: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention informs us that at least 30% of Floridians report that they have been told by a health care professional that they have high blood pressure. Around 2,200 Americans die each day from cardiovascular diseases. That’s approximately one every 40 seconds! But the truth is: 80% of cardiovascular disease can be prevented. Unfortunately, it seems that a lot of us really don’t take that to heart! A recent study shows that while 83% of Americans believe that heart attacks can be prevented, they are not motivated to do anything and 58% put no effort into improving their heart health. Don’t let that be you!
The truth is, the steps required to improve your heart health are so simple, most of us know them by now:
- Quit smoking. Smoking offers no health benefits and can only harm your heart and cardiovascular system. Guidance and many free resources are available.
- Integrate heart-healthy foods into your diet. There are tons of delicious and heart-nutritious recipes to explore with plenty of options for all meals of the day, as well as vegetarian and ethnic specialties.
- Exercise regularly. More on this later…
Deciding to do these things is an entirely different discussion! In all of these areas we face habitual and lifestyle barriers to make adjustments in our everyday lives.
The most difficult of these adjustments as we age is usually having to do with exercise. As our bodies age, we feel less inclined to be active. But the truth is, it is more important than ever. Despite common misconceptions, your heart doesn’t actually “age” or get weaker automatically as you get older. It only gets weaker as you use it less. The good news is, you can restore it’s youthful condition as you start requiring more of it. This is definitely a gradual progression, (don’t go out and try to run a marathon tomorrow!) but with dedicated effort and advice from your health professional, it is possible to turn back the clock.
This begins with regular physical activity. This will help you lose weight, thereby decreasing stress on your heart and blood vessels. It improves general physical fitness, enabling you to more easily enjoy daily activities that might otherwise leave you feeling breathless or strained. Exercise lowers stress, improves mental health, and helps you to relax. It doesn’t even take as much as you might expect to significantly decrease the risk of premature death and cardiovascular disease.
Physical Therapy Doctors of Florida has a first-rate team of professionals who specialize in customizing fitness routines for individuals. There are no cookie-cutter programs or treatments to be found here. Our physical therapists possess both the educational certification AND years of practical, hands-on experience with clients presenting a wide range of needs. You need not be limited by pain or dysfunction; we can help you to move without pain and get you back in the swing of things.
Call us today at (941) 264-1414, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or send us a direct message. Our staff is renowned for friendly customer service and prompt responses to inquiries. Your non-surgical back and joint-pain specialists at Physical Therapy Doctors of Florida are prepared to ensure you have not only a healthy American Heart Month 2021, but more importantly, a heart-healthy future lifestyle.