Benzer Pharmacy on the Beat: Get Your Heart Health into Balance
Music fans of a certain age remember February 1964 as the first time The Beatles appeared in America on The Ed Sullivan Show. Yet, that particular month was also fab for another reason apart from the stateside debut of the four lads from Liverpool—it was the first time our nation recognized February as American Heart Month—an observance that has continued every year since to the present day.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” you say?
Let’s get straight to the chorus.
At Benzer Pharmacy, we believe it’s critically important to raise awareness about the risk factors that can lead to any number of heart diseases, including hypertension, high cholesterol, poor diet, lack of sleep and stress, among others. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), cardiovascular disease claims the life of one out of every four in the U.S., easily making it the leading preventable cause of death in the country.
The worldwide picture doesn’t get any better.
The American Heart Association estimates that cardiovascular diseases are responsible for the loss of more than 17.9 million lives each year—a number that, unfortunately, is predicted to only grow over the course of the next decade, likely increase to more than 23 million by 2030.
Sobering statistics by any measure, but there is no reason to take the threat lying down. In fact, in our view, lying down is the one thing NOT to do.
Here are a few things you CAN and SHOULD do to sway the odds back in your favor:
A late start is better than no start.
With advancing age, it’s all-too-common for many to reduce their level of physical activity. An overly sedentary lifestyle can be slowly destructive toward maintaining a healthy heart, so at least 2 ½ hours of physical activity is recommended for people of all ages and backgrounds.
Link-in with workday exercise.
Make a stand for heart fitness by taking the stairs. Plan physical activity breaks during the day. Try parking further away from the entrance to your workplace. A good walk is never spoiled when it raises your heart rate and burns calories in the process.
Join the “snack pack.”
Keep single-serve packages of nutritious snacks, such as crackers, fresh fruit, veggies and granola bars, on hand to keep your cravings for high-calorie sweets at bay. Limit your intake of foods rich in saturated fats and sodium. Even better, drink plenty of water, and leave the sugary sodas and candy bars hanging in the vending machine.
Don’t stress over it.
Avoid the temptation to try and be all things to all people. It doesn’t work. Worse yet, it often results in elevated blood pressure readings, while eating away at your ability to recharge and reenergize at the end of the day. Stress can pull at us in all directions, but having a positive mental outlook can keep it from causing the health of your heart to spiral downward.
Toss out the bedside alarm clock.
Okay, perhaps don’t take this last suggestion literally, but the point is, if you’re getting an appropriate amount of rest each night—the morning buzzer isn’t really necessary. Well-rested people typically wake-up refreshed and ready for the day without the harsh awakening. More importantly, they are less likely to suffer the damage that sleep deprivation can have on the heart.
No matter what month might appear on the calendar, Benzer Pharmacy believes there’s no time like the present to bring your heart health into balance. That’s why we are proud to join the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) in their effort to encourage people across America to #MoveWithHeart in support of National Heart Awareness month for February and beyond.
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