Heart disease is the leading cause of death for people in the United States. Fortunately, it is also one of the most preventable. Each year, we use the month of February to discuss why heart health is important and what we can do to live heart-healthy.

Heart health is especially important for adults age 65 and older. Our risk of  suffering a heart attack, having a stroke, or developing heart disease increases as we age. As you get older, your heart can’t beat as fast during physical activity or times of stress as it did when you were younger. The most common age related change in heart health is caused by hardening of the arteries which in turn causes high blood pressure, or hypertension. There are a number of changes in your body that causes strain on your heart. Some of these changes can be out of your control due to family history, but leading a heart-healthy lifestyle might help you avoid serious illness.

There are many steps you can take to keep your heart healthy.

Stay Active

There are many benefits to being active. Moving more can help protect your heart, improve blood flow, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and give you more more stamina and ability to cope with stress.

For major health benefits, aim for at least 150 minutes a week. Talk to your doctor about what activities might be best for you.

Create Healthy Habits

Build heart-healthy activities into your daily routine. Schedule things that are both good for you and important to you. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Cook delicious, heart-healthy recipes.
  • Participate in one of LifeStream’s Wellness Programs with in-person and online options. Click here to learn more.
  • Make that doctor’s appointment you’ve been putting off. Many providers now offer telehealth appointments to make accessing care easier.
  • Organize your medications. LifeStream offers the HomeMeds program which is a free review of all your medications by a trained professional. Click here to learn more about the HomeMeds program. 

For more information and resources on being heart-healthy, visit National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s (NHLBI) webpage.

Quit Smoking

Smokers are up to 4x more likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke, compared to nonsmokers. The chemicals in tobacco smoke harm your heart and blood vessels in many ways. Quitting is hard, but many people have succeeded. Set a quit date and let those close to you know about it. Your family and friends can support your effort.

Visit betobaccofree.hhs.gov and smokefree.gov for free resources to help you connect with others trying to quit.

Heart Health Month Information

LifeStream will be sharing heart-healthy tips and information throughout the month of February in observation of Heart Health Month. Follow along on Facebook and Instagram. See below other heart healthy tips and information:


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