In honor of American Heart Month, our Glenn Dale physical therapists encourage you to move more to improve your heart health
February 12, 2019
February is American Heart Month, and the goal of the month-long campaign is to increase awareness on the importance of good heart health and the dangers of heart disease. Through efforts like these, there has been some significant progress in properly identifying and treating heart disease, and millions of Americans now live healthier, longer lives as a result. But despite these improvements, a great deal of work is still needed, and our Glenn Dale physical therapists would like to do our part by helping you find ways to improve your heart health.
Still the number one cause of death
Heart disease has long been the leading cause of death for both men and women in the U.S., and this continues to remain true today. Each year, about 715,000 people experience a heart attack, while another 600,000 die from some type of heart disease. This equates to about one out of every four deaths being related to heart problems, which is a staggering figure that shows just how big of a danger heart disease is.
Another statistic—and a more reassuring one for all people, regardless of their family history—is that 80% of heart attacks and strokes are preventable. In order to take charge of your own heart health, it’s necessary to become more conscious of your everyday decisions and to make improvements to components of your lifestyle that need it.
There are many ways to improve your heart health and reduce your chances of developing heart issues, but at the top of that list is getting enough exercise and physical activity. Exercise helps the heart become more efficient and better able to pump blood throughout the body, and doing it regularly is essential to maintaining a healthy heart. At CAM Physical Therapy and Wellness Services, it’s one of our specialties to help patients find ways to incorporate physical activity into their lifestyle in the safest manner possible.
The role that our Glenn Dale physical therapists can play in improving your heart health
Regardless of whether or not someone is at risk for heart disease, exercise is a central component of every physical therapy program that we prescribe. In addition to the treatments we provide within our clinic, we also recommend that each of our patients engage in some form of physical activity to improve their overall health in their free time. This is fundamental to physical therapy, and we always work with patients to determine the best possible exercises for them based on their health and abilities.
At the same time, we understand that patients with poor cardiovascular health and those with a history of heart disease may be hesitant to engage in any type of physical activity. People with heart disease often have limitations like physical weakness or balance problems, or struggle with basic physical tasks like walking up stairs. Others may have difficulty performing the exercises that are prescribed to them or simply don’t know how to become more physically active in their daily lives.
With this in mind, we can create “heart-healthy” exercise programs that are designed specifically for patients with heart problems. Regardless of your concerns, we will work with you at every step of the way to ensure that the exercises you’re completing are safe and best for you. We will also monitor your vital signs and look for any abnormal cardiovascular symptoms as we figure out what exercises you’re capable of doing and which you enjoy the most. The goal of physical therapy here is to help build back your endurance, which will help you function more independently and perform daily activities more easily.
Other lifestyle changes that we recommend to improve heart health include maintaining a healthy diet with lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, monitoring your blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides regularly, and quitting smoking if you’re a smoker. If you experience stress on a regular basis, it’s also important to find ways to reduce your stress levels. There are many ways to alleviate stress and not all practices work for everyone, but meditation, yoga, cognitive behavioral therapy, and getting regular physical activity are all smart options that are known to be effective.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to control and improve your heart health, our Glenn Dale physical therapists are here to help. Contact CAM Physical Therapy and Wellness Services at 301-464-7390 to schedule an appointment at any of our four clinics in Laurel, Hyattsville, Glenn Dale/Bowie, or Silver Spring, MD today, or click here for more information on American Heart Month.