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American Heart Month

Posted on 01/30/23 by Dr. Jessica in Community News

February is American Heart Month, and Dr. Jessica Coleman, Menorah Park’s Vice President of Medical Affairs, has some advice for us:

Older adults are more likely to develop coronary artery disease or suffer a heart attack or stroke. As we age, our heart does not beat as fast during physical activity or times of stress. Also, the fatty deposits on the walls of arteries build up over years increasing the risk of heart disease.

American Heart Month

Undertaking a regular activity program is a great way to start engaging in your heart health. It is important to do this under the guidance of your healthcare provider. Remember that an intense exercise regimen is not necessary; doing even a little activity every day can strengthen your heart.

A heart healthy diet is equally important. Avoid fad or crash diets. Focus on moderation, lean protein, and green leafy vegetables. If you are wanting to focus on small changes first, focus on plant-based changes and decrease your intake of processed foods. If you are a smoker, stop now. It is never too late.

Your blood pressure, cholesterol and weight are important to follow, but there are other factors like blood sugar that may be important to your individual cardiovascular health.

Red flags for heart disease may include pain, numbness and or tingling in the shoulders, arms, neck, jaw or back. Long term symptoms that often get ignored are persistent fatigue, swelling, decreased endurance or chest pain that goes away with rest.

Talk with your healthcare provider and seek out information from reputable sources like the American Heart Association.

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