health and nutrition

how to help prevent heart disease

I am participating in an Ambassador program on behalf of Influence Central and hosted by the makers of Bayer® Aspirin. I have received compensation to thank me for my participation. All opinions expressed are my own. 

It is never too early to start thinking about heart health.  Luckily, a healthy heart comes from a healthy lifestyle – simple positive choices you can make day to day like a balanced diet and plenty of exercise.  With a brand new year ahead of us, we’re all focused on living a better life with our families. Unfortunately, there is a heart attack every 42 seconds in the US and heart disease is a very common problem.  Follow these tips to help keep your heart strong and keep Bayer Aspirin in your purse in the event of a suspected heart attack.

eat colorfully

Whole foods, foods in their natural form from the ground, are your best friends when it comes to a healthy diet.  Eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables is important.  Specific types that are super beneficial to your heart: red/yellow/orange vegetables and fruits like carrots, tomatoes, red peppers, citrus, sweet potatoes, berries and green veggies like spinach, kale and asparagus.  Healthy nuts (almonds, walnuts), Omega-3 rich foods (fatty fish, chia seeds) and a small glass of red wine are helpful as well!  In the morning, reach for a bowl of oatmeal, which is high in soluble fiber and can help lower cholesterol.

stay active

It is important to just be an active person, which doesn’t necessarily equal being a marathon runner.  Being active includes cleaning chores, running errands, physical hobbies like gardening, playing with the kids… anything other than sitting around.  For daily workouts, try interval training (short bursts of high intensity exercise with periods of rest) and also nonimpact sports that use the whole body like yoga, pilates, swimming and hiking.  Don’t forget weight training! Strong muscles ease the overall burden on the heart, so building them is key.  Exercises to avoid when talking about heart attacks – anything overly strenuous that you’re not used to and make sure to warm up before any workout.

nix the stress

I find that if you’re doing the above correctly, your stress/anxiety levels are more manageable, so start there.  Long-term stress is very damaging to the heart by causing increased heart rate and higher blood pressure.  Certain stresses are unavoidable (like work and other pressured obligations) so learning how to breathe through your stress is very important.  Make sure to regularly do things that make you happy and relaxed.  Keep the PMA!

heart health screenings

One thing that is critical to decreasing the chances of heart disease is to be aware of and managing your risk factors.  Risk factors like high blood pressure, high total cholesterol and high blood glucose are important to stay on top of.  Other factors to think about – lifestyle choices like smoking and being overweight and diseases like diabetes.  Heredity factors are also important, so know your family history.

learn the signs and be prepared

Not every heart attack has the same signs and symptoms, so it’s good to be aware of what one feels like/looks like.  A signature sign is discomfort/tightness in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back.  One may also experience radiating pain or discomfort in other areas like the shoulders, neck, jaw or arms.  Shortness of breath is another sign, which may come with or without chest pain.  Other symptoms: feeling faint, paleness, sweating, nausea and extreme fatigue.  If you experience these symptoms, call 911 immediately and chew a Bayer Aspirin as directed by your doctor.

Chewing aspirin during a suspected heart attack can save a life – problem is, there isn’t always aspirin around when one needs it.  This is why it is a great idea to carry Bayer Aspirin in your purse or your pocket.  You never know when you, a loved one or a complete stranger will need it.  Addressing the large amounts of heart attacks in the United States, Bayer Aspirin has developed a campaign called The HeroSmiths to help people realize the life-saving benefits of Bayer Aspirin.

Take the pledge today to carry Bayer Aspirin and share on social media!

 

In the event of a suspected heart attack, immediately call 9-1-1 and chew or crush and swallow aspirin as directed by a doctor. 

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