Every February people are bombarded with the message of love. Stores are adorned in red and pink hearts, cupids, cute stuffed animals and heart-shaped candies while jewelry advertisements take over the airwaves.
Host to arguably the most romantic holiday throughout the year, it may come as no surprise that February is often called the month of Love. With all the hype centered around February 14th, AKA Valentine’s Day, did you know that February is also host to another important national observance?
What could be as important as love, you ask? The answer is your heart. Which is why February is also National American Heart Month.
The Heart of It (AKA the History)
American Heart Month was officially proclaimed a nationally recognized month on December 30, 1963 by President Lyndon B. Johnson. A mere 33 days later, the first official American Heart Month took place in February 1964.
Since its inception, the American Heart Association has tirelessly spent the last 53 years raising awareness of the importance of heart health.
During the time of the first American Heart Month, more than half of the deaths in the United States were caused by cardiovascular disease(CVD). Today, that number continues to rise, and CVD is still the leading cause of death in the United States. In fact, statistics show that on average, someone dies of CVD every 40 seconds.
The American Heart Association reports that currently heart disease is responsible for more than 17.3 million deaths worldwide each year, and that number is expected to increase to more than 23.6 million by 2030.
If these numbers haven’t completely alarmed you yet, just wait.
A 2006 study published in the US National Library of Medicine proposes that elderly loved ones with cardiovascular disease are at an increased risk of experiencing a fall. In one study, nearly 23% of elderly who fell also experienced cardioinhibitory CSH. A separate study also had similar results with nearly half of the fallen patients also suffering from cardioinhibitory CSH.
If you have read any of our other articles, you may already know the staggering statistics regarding falls and fall-related injuries.
As dire as the numbers may seem, there is a bright side. Fortunately, there are many steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, and therein reduce the risk of experiencing a fall or fall-related injury.
Keep reading to find out 7 things you can do to protect you and your loved.
Schedule a Check-Up
The most important thing you can do is schedule a checkup with your doctor. You will find out how healthy you are and if you have any conditions you didn’t already know about. This is also a great time to ask your doctor if you are healthy enough to exercise.
Give Up Your Vices
We know it is easier said than done, but an important aspect of preventing heart disease is to cut out vices that are known to cause heart disease. This includes smoking and drinking too much alcohol.
Get Your Zzzzz’s
Getting the appropriate amount of sleep each night can greatly increase your heart health.
Eat Your Heart Out
Well, don’t literally do that. But what you should do, is make sure you are eating a heart healthy diet. This includes foods that are low in fat and cholesterol. Some good heart healthy foods are: fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans, nuts, fish, lean poultry and meat. Finally, limit salt and sugar.
Take a Step
We mean this one literally. Maintaining an active lifestyle will help you maintain a healthy body weight, make you happy (the endorphins) and reduce your risk of heart disease. Professionals recommend at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week of moderate exercise. This means any activity that gets you moving and sweating a little.
Say No to Stress
If heart disease was a car, stress would be its fuel. The more stress you have, the more strain you put on your heart and overall health. Check out this blog we recently wrote that explores 6 great ways you can reduce stress.
Invest in SmartCells Fall Protection Products
Whether your elderly loved one suffers from heart disease or not, the likelihood of them experiencing a fall is unfortunately still high.
The dual-stiffness structure of SmartCells fall protection products provides users with a stable standing surface that will not cause a balance impaired person to lose their balance, while at the same time providing 5-7 times more cushioning than a foam mat of the same height. In addition, SmartCells cannot absorb liquid, so infection control issues can be more effectively dealt with, too.
SmartCells Fall Protection products are available to be used as an underlayment or in a variety of colors (Black, Light Brown, and Grey) and additional configurations ranging from build-your-own mats and custom flooring to pre-sized mats (2×3, 3×5 and 24×68).
SmartCells fall protection: We’ll be there when you can’t be.
If you are looking for more tips to help your loved one reduce their risk of falls, click here.