An average of 600,000 people die of heart disease every year in the United States alone, and is the leading cause of death for both men and women. Heart health is a serious topic not to be taken lightly. February is American Heart Month, serving as a reminder of the importance of maintaining a healthy heart! “With organizations such as the American Heart Association and others working together, millions of people are enjoying longer, healthier lives. But despite all the progress, heart disease remains the single largest health threat to Americans.”
- Heart disease kills more people than all forms of cancer combined.
- Heart attacks affect more people every year than the population of Dallas, Texas.
- 83% believe that heart attacks can be prevented but aren’t motivated to do anything.
- 72% of Americans don’t consider themselves at risk for heart disease.
- And 58% put no effort into improving their heart health.
Don’t become a statistic! What can we do to combat cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, and other heart related illnesses? The answer is simple but requires commitment: Live a healthy lifestyle! Heart disease is most often preventable and some heart problems can even be reversible.
Know The Signs
Heart disease encompasses a variety of heart health issues, including blood vessel diseases (such as coronary artery disease), heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias); and heart defects you’re born with (congenital heart defects). People age 60 and older, have high blood pressure, inactive lifestyle, obesity, or diabetes are at higher risk. Men and women may experience different cardiovascular symptoms. Do you often experience shortness of breath, chest pain, fatigue, or swelling? It may be a good idea to consult your doctor. It’s better to be proactive than wait for a serious problem to develop!
Symptoms can include:
- Chest pain, chest tightness, chest pressure and chest discomfort (angina)
- Shortness of breath
- Pain, numbness, weakness or coldness in your legs or arms if the blood vessels in those parts of your body are narrowed
- Pain in the neck, jaw, throat, upper abdomen or back
Only 27% of people can identify all the major symptoms of a heart attack and know how to call 911 immediately when they occur. According to the CDC, the major signs of a heart attack are:
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Upper body pain or discomfort in the arms, back, neck, jaw, or upper stomach
- Shortness of breath
- Nausea, lightheadedness, or cold sweats
What You Can Do
Commit yourself to living a healthy lifestyle. What does that entail? Balancing a healthy diet with regular activity and more sleep is a good start! According to Heart.Org: “The good news is that heart disease is preventable in most cases with healthy choices, which include not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, controlling blood sugar and cholesterol, treating high blood pressure, getting at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a week and getting regular checkups.”
- Give your lungs a break: Stop smoking! Easier said than done, but check out these helpful resources.
- Regular check ups with your doctor: Schedule assessments a few times per year to make sure you’re maintaining a healthy weight, blood pressure and total cholesterol. Also get screened for diabetes.
- Move your body: Start by walking everyday, find family activities that get you off the couch, and build muscle through regular workouts.
- Diet plays a major role in heart health: Eat mindfully to incorporate food groups such as lean proteins, healthy fats, and leafy greens. Eliminate processed foods, complex carbs, and added sugars.
- Take time for rest and mindfulness: Aim for at least 7 hours of sleep every night. “Sleeping restores the body, helps decrease stress and increases overall happiness.” Mindfulness activities such as meditation and yoga are proven to be a peaceful outlet for emotional stress, release cortisol, and lower blood pressure.
How Total Impact Can Help
Exercise is a critical component for a healthy lifestyle. In fact, living a sedentary lifestyle is proven to be one of the top five risk factors for heart disease. The heart is a muscle and needs to be worked out just like the rest of our body. “When it’s exercised, the heart can pump more blood through the body and continue working at optimal efficiency with little strain. Regular exercise also helps to keep arteries and other blood vessels flexible, ensuring good blood flow and normal blood pressure.” We recommend to keep your body moving at least 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week. Examples can include: walking, kickboxing, climbing stairs, playing sports, krav maga, jogging, swimming, biking, and more.
Total Impact offers a variety of opportunities for you and the entire family to keep your heart in good shape! Group fitness classes are a fun way to remain active with like-minded people who will keep you motivated. Get the blood pumping and your heart beating with Adult Fitness Kickboxing, Self Defense, Krav Maga, and MMA! Don’t forget about the little ones. Set them up for a healthy future with Little Ninja’s and our Kids Karate programs.
February is a great reminder to show our hearts some love! Has your doctor shown concern about your health? Are you ready to be proactive in taking care of your heart for many years to come? We have the solution for you! Join us for exciting, upbeat martial arts classes and enjoy the heart healthy benefits!
* Always check with your doctor before starting an exercise program. They can help you find activities that will increase your heart health without the risk of injury!
The Total Impact System
The Total Impact System blends multiple styles together to create a well rounded system which utilizes techniques of American, Chinese, Israeli, Japanese, and Korean origins, including: Bu Kyoku Ryu karate, Kickboxing/Boxing, Krav Maga, Kung Fu, Taekwondo, Muay Thai, and Judo & Jiu-Jitsu. It is about growing and continuing the evolution of martial arts by combining the best techniques from the various styles into one program. Total Impact Martial Arts & Fitness offers exciting and innovative programs that will help you reach all of your health, fitness and martial art goals!
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