February is a month where the heart is of focus for many people. Not just in matters of love, but in health as well. This Valentine’s Day, take a minute not just to pay your sweetie some attention, but to make sure you are treating your heart the way it deserves to be treated. Below is a blog from McLaren Macomb about heart health not just for February, but all year.
12 months of heart health awareness
“Knowing what your risk factors are for heart disease is key,” says Loraine Cusumano, RN, BSN, MSA, director of cardiovascular services at McLaren Macomb.
Although the month of February has been designated as American Heart Month by the American Heart Association, designed to motivate everyone to bring a little attention to their heart health, Dr. Logan and his colleagues urge awareness all year long.
Heart disease remains the number one killer across all genders and ethnicities in Macomb County and the entire United States. But there is also reason to remain optimistic as many heart diseases are conditions that can be staved off by living a healthy lifestyle.
“The critical step is making the necessary changes to reduce your risk,” Cusumano said. “While we cannot change genetics, you can certainly start taking steps to reduce or even eliminate some risk factors. Any changes to food choices, smoking cessation, stress reduction, exercise or getting adequate sleep can have a significant impact on overall wellbeing. Why wait?”
Making these and other lifestyle changes and adding healthier habits can decrease your chances of heart disease by as much as 80 percent.
And in some cases, you don’t even have to leave your home.
“We have to ensure that our bodies don’t go into deep sleep over the winter and even if there might not be snow on the ground, it’s cold until April,” said Louise Bommarito, PT, manager of outpatient rehab with McLaren Macomb. “Cold enough to the point that we don’t want to go outside. But you can take your exercises inside.”
Bommarito suggests putting together circuit exercises that, in addition to aerobic benefits, will target and work major muscle groups.
She proposes the following exercise circuit, which she dubs “The 5, 10, 15” workout (doing 5 then 10 then 15 reps of a workout or exercise).
15 jumping jacks
10 second break
5 lunges (on each leg)
15 seconds of planking
Running through these exercises a few times a week can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by helping to maintain your weight, but can also strengthen bones and improve muscle flexibility.
To learn more about the types of heart disease and the physicians who treat them, please visit www.mclaren.org/macombheart. McLaren Macomb has also created a couple of videos to help with your heart education:
David Jones is a media relations representative for McLaren Macomb.