Our hearts are an incredibly important part of our health. When they’re functioning properly, we almost feel like we’re capable of doing anything. However, poor heart health can be very dangerous, as heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.

American Heart Month was created to bring awareness to the importance of the heart. It’s also an excellent opportunity to improve your lifestyle by taking your cardiovascular health more seriously. Below, you’ll learn exactly what you need to do to make that happen.

Why We Need a Healthy Heart

Keeping your heart healthy is one of the most effective ways to ensure good overall health. Those who fail to do this put themselves at an increased risk of suffering from a heart attack or stroke. Since these can be especially dangerous for older adults to experience, taking good care of your cardiovascular health becomes all the more important.

What Causes Poor Heart Health?

Improving your heart health is all about swapping poor lifestyle decisions for better ones. That means the first step towards your health goals is understanding what’s preventing you from reaching them.

There are several conditions and activities that can increase your risk of suffering from heart disease. This is a list that includes:

  • High cholesterol
  • Smoking
  • Obesity or being overweight
  • Lack of exercise
  • High blood pressure
  • Family history of heart disease

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How to Improve Your Cardiovascular Health

It’s never too late to start taking better care of your heart. American Heart Month is the perfect opportunity to get started. Doing so doesn’t have to be difficult.

One of the most important things you can do for your heart is to start eating a healthier diet and getting more exercise. These are important for their own sakes’. However, they’ll also help you to reduce your cholesterol, your high blood pressure, and your weight. This means you can eliminate most of the risk factors for heart disease with these two simple steps.

Eating a heart-healthy diet means consuming mostly fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and lean proteins. You should try to avoid processed, boxed, and packaged foods as much as possible. It’s okay to indulge yourself once in a while but try not to do it too often.

It’s also important to mention that smoking is a major cause of heart disease. If you’re a smoker, there’s never going to be a better time to quit than right now. Try using nicotine gum or lozenges to make the process easier on yourself.

Consult with a Doctor to Get Even More Out of American Heart Month

As you work towards a healthier heart, be sure to consult with your doctor. They can offer you personalized health advice that can make it easier to reach your goals.

Did you know that your Medicare health insurance covers a free cardiovascular disease screening at no cost every five years? This could be the perfect chance to get the information you need to make smarter decisions about your cardiovascular health.

If you’re unsure about the extent of your Medicare coverage, consider contacting one of Time for 65’s partnered licensed agents. You can do so by filling out this form or giving us a call. They’ll provide you with the information that you need to seek out a doctor’s help this American Heart Month.