So, it’s February, and this month we are celebrating all that is love, right? Well, for most.
Confession: my Hubs and I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day – we’re cool like that…
But we DO celebrate all things love on every other day of the year…shouldn’t everyone?? I guess February 14th is as great a day as any to remember to love each other. So, to all of you out there, Happy Extra Special Love Day!
Guess what else is celebrated in February?
By now most everyone knows that cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the number one killer in the United States. The American Heart Association reports that globally, 17.3 million deaths per year are due to CVD and estimates this number to grow to 23+million by 2030. In 2008, the U.S. lost over 780,000 people to CVD-related diseases like strokes; that’s 2,100+ deaths per day. These estimates are staggering. CVD includes heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure.
The scariest part of CVD is that most of these cases can be prevented. No matter how many times we have heard it, it never hurts to hear it again. Here are some KEY factors to avoid CVD or improve your chances of getting better even if you aren’t doing anything now. You don’t even have to do all of these things. Even adopting a few of them will help:
Many of you know that when I was at my heaviest, my cholesterol and blood sugar were very high…high enough for me to need to be on medication to lower them. I have lost 85lbs from my highest weight and I am proud to say that halfway to this point, I was able to stop taking blood sugar medicine. I am also on the lowest dose of cholesterol medicine with hopes to be able to come off of it very soon. Not only does diet and exercise come into play but so do genetics…and that’s something to consider, too. My family has a history of high cholesterol so I have to be very careful. If you have a family history of heart disease or any CVD-related illnesses, chances are you’re genetically pre-disposed. Through eating healthy and getting active, I was able to lose weight. The rest of the positive effects have followed. I will continue to try to manage my cholesterol for the rest of my life, but I would prefer to do it without medicine which means that I have to eat right and be active.
One bit of advice that I found very enlightening was that people in the 30’s and 40’s cannot think that they are not at risk; youth does not offer you extra time not to worry about disease. Unfortunately, studies are showing that younger people are developing early signs of CVD. Take care of yourself now, no matter your age.
For more information about heart disease, check out The American Heart Association’s website.