Show your Heart some Love in February!
Not only is February the month of Love, it’s also American Heart
Month! With heart disease being the leading cause of death in the
nation, there’s no better time to show your ticker some TLC. This is the
58th American Heart Month and the American Heart Association is
urging people all over the country to "reclaim your rhythm."
So how do you “reclaim your rhythm”?
AHA is encouraging people to refocus on their mental and physical well-being after two challenging years of the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are just a few examples from the AHA of how you can “reclaim your rhythm”:
• Doing at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity
a week. If you’re couch potato status, no worries! Start now and
• Eating healthy. Need some guidance? The AHA's Heart-Check
mark can guide you in the grocery store and so can we,
ScoobyPrep coaches are here to help!
• Not smoking or vaping
• Maintaining a healthy weight
• Controlling blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure
• Getting regular checkups
• Learning Hands-Only CPR
• Following COVID-19 safety protocols
• Finding ways to relax and ease your mind, such as meditation
We know the challenges of the pandemic has led to increased emotional
and physical stress. With limited access to medical care, emotional
support and gyms, unhealthy ways of managing stress has also
increased, while regular physical activity has decreased. Sadly, all these
situations can cause an increase in the risk of heart disease.
What are some ways you can take control and monitor your heart?
Check the BIG 3!
Buy an at home blood pressure monitor. Look for an automatic, cuff
style, upper arm monitor. Make sure the cuff fits you properly. High
blood pressure is not determined by one solitary high reading. Instead,
take readings periodically throughout the day for a few days and record
your numbers. If you notice your readings are routinely higher than the
recommendation for most people, 120/80, consult your physician.
The AHA recommends that all adults 20 or older have their cholesterol
and other traditional risk factors checked every four to six years as long
as their risk remains low. Personally, I feel these should be checked
more often. You can ask your physician to order cholesterol panels for
you. If you’d like to order your own panel, please check out
lifeextenstion.com or reach out to a ScoobyPrep coach to help you
Insulin resistance occurs when the body makes insulin but can’t use it
efficiently. When a fasting person has too much glucose in the blood
(hyperglycemia) or too much insulin in the blood (hyperinsulinemia),
they may have insulin resistance.
People with insulin resistance are at greater risk of developing
prediabetes, Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.That’s why it’s
important to be aware of diabetes risk factors and take steps to prevent
You can purchase an easy to use glucometer to test your blood glucose at
home. While the glucometer and lancets are relatively inexpensive, the
testing strips used with the glucometer can get pricy. Check out the
generic store brand, which works as well as the name brands or see if
your physician will write you a prescription to bill your insurance.
Help Raise Awareness
The first Friday of American Heart Month, Feb. 4, is also National Wear
Red Day as part of the AHA's Go Red for Women initiative.
Let’s go red to raise awareness and support for the fight against heart
disease — the No. 1 killer of women, causing 1 in 3 deaths. That's more
than all forms of cancer combined.
Know the Warning Signs & Symptoms
Part of raising awareness is knowing the signs and symptoms of a heart
attack. A heart attack is a life threatening emergency, when every
Did you know the symptoms can differ between men and women?
Symptoms in Women
• Chest pain, but not always
• Pain or pressure in the lower chest or upper abdomen
• Jaw, neck or upper back pain
• Nausea or vomiting
• Shortness of breath
• Extreme fatigue
Symptoms in Men
• Squeezing chest pressure or pain
• Jaw, neck or back pain
• Nausea or vomiting
• Shortness of breath
If you experience any of these signs or symptoms:
• Dial 911 immediately, follow the operator’s instructions and get to
a hospital right away.
• Don’t drive yourself to the hospital.
• Try to stay as calm as possible and take deep, slow breaths while
you wait for the emergency responders.
For more information, check out www.heart.org