Photo: Some Higgins Insurance team members wearing red in support of Heart Month. Resource Horizon Health Network
As we enter the last weekend in February, we are delighted to share an interview with you about Heart Month! February is Heart Month, which provides an opportunity to focus on the steps we can take to improve our heart health! We are excited to share with you an interview with Horizon Health for Heart Month!
What does a cardiologist do?
A cardiologist is a doctor who specializes in assessing, diagnosing, and treating patients with diseases and defects of the cardiovascular system. Cardiovascular diseases can affect the heart, the blood vessels, or both.
How does smoking impact our hearts?
Smoking is one of the many lifestyle risk factors that we can control. Almost 80 per cent of premature heart disease and stroke can be prevented by adopting healthy habits. In middle-aged women and men, smoking triples the chances of dying from heart disease and stroke. Nicotine makes blood vessels smaller, which decreases the amount of oxygen carried by the blood. Heart attacks generally happen when blood flow through one or more of the coronary arteries is blocked. Quitting is one of the best ways to prevent heart disease and stroke.
Learn more about smoking and tobacco here.
What can we do to improve our heart health?
Education is a crucial step in preventing and managing heart disease. It’s important to know your lifestyle risk factors, your family heart health history, and knowing when to seek medical attention. Reducing your lifestyle risk factors is one of the best ways to improve your heart health.
You can reduce your risk of heart disease by making healthy lifestyle choices. Start by making small changes, every day:
- Make healthy food choices
- Exercise – a little goes a long way!
- Quit smoking
- Consume alcohol in moderation
- Limit the use of recreational drugs
- Try to stress less!
Heart attacks can happen to anyone — whenever, wherever. Recognizing the signs of someone having a heart attack can improve their recovery and potentially save their life.
Here are the signs:
- Chest discomfort (pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain, burning or heaviness)
- Upper body discomfort (neck, jaw, shoulder, arms, back)
- Shortness of breath
If you are experiencing any of these signs of a heart attack call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number immediately.
Learn more about cardiovascular intervention here.
What can we do after a heart attack for recovery?
Listen to your health care team’s advice regarding your specific recovery plan. Your health care team will discuss the treatment options and decide what is best for your circumstances. Treatment may include surgery, medication, and/or lifestyle changes.
It’s important to continuously take the proper measures to decrease your lifestyle risk factors. There are several factors you can change to improve your heart health such as not smoking, reducing alcohol consumption, exercising regularly, reducing stress, eating healthy foods daily as well as knowing your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Remember that you don’t have to do this alone — reach out to your health care professionals to come up with a plan that works for you.
Learn more about treatments here.
Thank you to Horizon Health Network in participating in the interview and helping us create awareness in the effort to prioritize our heart health!