American Heart Health Month: Caring for Your Heart from Every Angle

American Heart Health Month: Caring for Your Heart from Every Angle
The human heart, a symbol of love and life, is also one of the hardest-working organs in the body. It pumps blood around 1.5 million barrels of blood over a lifetime! February is American Heart Health Month, dedicated to raising awareness about heart disease and promoting heart-healthy habits. So it’s only fitting that we dive into some crucial statistics, discuss prevention tips, and explore the surprising connection between spinal health and heart health in today’s blog!

Heart Disease Statistics

American Heart Health Month: Caring for Your Heart from Every Angle

Heart disease, including heart attack, heart failure, and stroke, remains the leading cause of death worldwide. In the United States alone, it accounts for approximately 655,000 deaths annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A staggering 47% of Americans have at least one of the three major risk factors for heart disease: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or smoking.

The statistics are alarming, but there is one piece of GREAT news. Unlike many other health issues, heart disease is largely preventable. By adopting a heart-healthy lifestyle and seeking regular medical care, you can significantly reduce your risk.

Prevention Tips

American Heart Health Month: Caring for Your Heart from Every Angle

To lower the risk of heart disease, it’s essential to make a few lifestyle changes:

  1. Exercise Regularly: Engage in aerobic activities like brisk walking, swimming, or cycling for at least 150 minutes a week. Do this in whatever way works for you! Make it fun, make it easy, and make it accessible.
  2. Maintain a Healthy Diet: Eat a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. A good rule of thumb for meals is aiming for a palm sized protein serving, half a plate worth of fruits and veggies and a mix of whole grains and healthy fats (like avocado or nuts and seeds) to make up the remainder of your plate.
  3. Manage Stress: Incorporate stress-relief techniques like meditation, deep breathing, or yoga into your daily routine. Stress is a silent killer and can wreak havoc not only on your mental health but your physical health as well.
  4. Limit Alcohol: If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. For most adults, that means up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a few drinks every now and then, the key – as with most things in life – is to maintain moderation, avoid overindulgence, and always aim for balance.
  5. Quit Smoking: If you smoke, take steps to quit. Avoid exposure to secondhand smoke. This is a big one.

The Link Between Spinal Health and Heart Health

While most people may not immediately think of their spine when considering heart health, research has shown that there’s a strong connection between the two. According to a study published in the Journal of Neural Engineering, the autonomic nervous system, which plays a vital role in regulating heart function, can be influenced by spinal health.

The chiropractic community has long recognized the importance of spinal health in overall wellness. Spinal adjustments, a cornerstone of chiropractic care, are believed to have a beneficial effect on heart health and blood pressure. A study conducted by the University of Chicago Medical Center found that chiropractic adjustments helped lower blood pressure in hypertensive patients.

The exact mechanism behind this link is not yet fully understood, but researchers believe that proper spinal alignment may improve nervous system function, leading to better heart health.

In our humble opinion, we say leave the exact science to the experts and simply approach your health from a preventative and holistic point of view. If chiropractic care is aimed at keeping your entire body in alignment and working optimally in order to prevent future issues, it sure can’t hurt on your way to a healthy heart.

American Heart Health Month serves as an important reminder of the need to prioritize heart health through lifestyle changes and regular medical check-ups. Our modern world has improved so many things for the better. Unfortunately, our heart health isn’t one of them. The combination of heavily processed and fatty foods readily available (sometimes more so than healthy foods), and lowered activity due to technology and cultural lifestyles has led to an epidemic of heart disease.

By adopting a comprehensive approach that includes regular chiropractic care and and other preventive lifestyle changes, you can not only enhance your heart health and lower your risk of heart disease, but simply be the best version of you. Which is what we’re all about at On-The-Go wellness. So remember friends, take care of your heart—it’s the only one you’ve got!

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Picture of Dr. Nichole A. Walz

Dr. Nichole A. Walz

Dr. Josh Huddleston, and I are the founders of On-The-Go Wellness®. We are husband & wife, who just so happen to be Board Certified, Licensed, Chiropractic Physicians & Certified Yoga Instructors! After practicing with other clinics in the USA and Singapore for the past 5 years, we decided to start On-The-Go Wellness® to fit our active, mobile lifestyles.

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