Your heart's day-to-day health may not be a frequent concern. Valentine's Day may be the ideal opportunity to stop and think about it.
The heart: the organ of love and life!
On Valentine’s Day, the heart is in the spotlight and we see it everywhere around us. However, beyond the pleasure and joy you get from heart-shaped candies, paper cut-outs, and chocolates, do you sometimes stop to think about the health of the flesh-and-blood heart that keeps you alive? The one that beats to the rhythm of your emotions, feelings, and activities? Even if you don’t feel its presence much, your heart deserves your full attention.
The heart, the vital organ that pumps blood, is characterized by a curious combination of strength and fragility. Unfortunately, it's often when the heart begins to fail that we become fully aware of its importance. It is essential to take good care of it, and to think about preserving the blood vessels that work with it to help blood flow throughout the body.
When it comes to cardiovascular health, it is clearly worth thinking ahead. Adopting the appropriate preventive measures can avoid a lot of remorse and regrets.
When the heart suffers…
A heart can suffer from love, of course, but it can also be affected by a number of health issues. Blood vessels can also be damaged, jeopardizing their ability to function.
Cardiovascular diseases include several different conditions, of which the most well-known are undoubtedly:
- coronary heart disease
- angina pectoris
- myocardial infarction
- cerebrovascular accident (CVA or stroke), and
- heart failure
In addition to their impact on well-being and quality of life, they can lead to serious consequences, including death.
The principle "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" applies very well to cardiovascular health. Taking care of your heart on a daily basis is within everyone's reach. Here are a few valuable tips to do just that:
- Eat well. Learn about the various components of a heart-healthy diet.
- Aim for and maintain a healthy weight.
- Quit smoking.
- Reduce your salt
- Keep your cholesterol levels within recommended limits.
- If you are living with diabetes, aim for excellent blood glucose control.
- If you have high blood pressure, make sure it is under control.
- Take all your medications regularly, even those prescribed as a preventive measure, such as low-dose aspirin.
- Reduce stress and learn to better control it.
Speak to your doctor or pharmacist about the different options available to you for preventing cardiovascular disease. Never start preventive treatment without first discussing the benefits and risks with a healthcare professional.
On that note, happy Valentine's Day to all!