This month, you’ll see lots of hearts everywhere. While they may stand for Valentine’s Day, we think they can also stand for heart health.

In honor of American Heart Month, our team at AFC Urgent Care Sevierville wants to share some insight into how you can protect your heart and improve your heart health.

Why Is Good Heart Health So Important?

Your heart is a vital organ within your body. It is responsible for pumping oxygenated blood throughout the body, which enables other organs and tissues to work optimally.

But if you don’t take good care of yourself, you’re putting your heart at risk. That’s the case for many Americans—heart disease is the leading cause of death, causing one in four American deaths.

Risk Factors for Heart Disease

  • Smoking
  • High cholesterol
  • Uncontrolled high blood pressure
  • Physical inactivity
  • Obesity
  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • High C-reactive protein
  • Uncontrolled stress, depression and anger

What Can I Do to Improve My Heart Health?

Although there are some risk factors you cannot change when it comes to heart disease (such as a family history of the disease and advanced age), many of the risk factors are within our control.

That’s because many risk factors for heart disease are related to our lifestyle habits. So practicing healthy lifestyle habits can help decrease your risk overall.

Ways to Improve Heart Health

  • Exercise at least 30 minutes a day on most days.
  • Manage stress effectively.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night.
  • Eat a balanced diet filled with fruits and vegetables.
  • Include fatty fish, such as salmon or tuna, in your diet.
  • Limit your alcohol consumption.

When was the last time you had a wellness check? Stop by to see our team at AFC Urgent Care Sevierville to learn where your health currently stands, especially when it comes to matters of the heart!