It’s not too late in the new year to resolve to keep your heart healthy — especially because February is American Heart Month. Around 735,000 Americans suffer a heart attack annually, the leading cause of death in the U.S.
A heart attack happens when blood flow to the heart is reduced or cut off, keeping oxygen from reaching the heart. This can be caused by plaque buildup in the arteries, which can break off and form blood clots, causing the blockage of blood flow and the damage to the heart muscle called a heart attack.
How do you know if you’re having a heart attack? Symptoms for men and women include chest discomfort, discomfort in one or both arms, neck pain, jaw pain, discomfort in the back or stomach, shortness of breath and palpitations. Women may also experience upper abdomen pain, fatigue, lightheadedness or dizziness. Click here to learn more about possible symptoms.
The good news is that heart attacks and heart disease are preventable. Some ways to lower your risk include:
- Diet: A low-fat diet with nutrient-rich fruits, vegetables and whole grains, as well as limiting fats and sugars, can help reduce plaque buildup.
- Regular exercise: Even walking for 30 minutes a day can go a long way.
- Watching your weight: Staying at a healthy weight for your body.
- Quit smoking: If you’re a smoker, quit.
- Reduce stress: Take time to relax and avoid things that trigger stress.
Though heart disease is a common problem, there are ways to combat it. Take care of your heart this month – you’re worth it.
Content by Lockton Dunning Benefits with info from: https://www.medicinenet.com/heart_attack_and_atherosclerosis_prevention/article.htm