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American Heart Month: Why You Need to Make Heart Health a Priority

Every February, we join with the rest of the medical community in recognizing American Heart Month. This initiative is backed by the President, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and more. And this month, we hope you’ll get involved in it, too.

Why Heart Health is an Important Topic Today

Even with information and advice about heart-healthy living abound, heart disease claims the life of someone in our country every 36 seconds, according to the CDC. That means about 655,000 Americans die from heart disease every year, making it the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States.

Who Needs Think About Heart Health

The simple answer: everyone. 

Be it a genetic disposition or lifestyle choices, there are many causes of heart disease, which is why it’s so important to put an emphasis on heart health in the first place. With that said, you’re more likely to develop heart disease if you:

  • Have diabetes
  • Are overweight or obese
  • Are physically inactive
  • Drink alcohol excessively
  • Have an unhealthy diet

There are other conditions — whether genetic- or lifestyle-related — that can increase your risk of developing heart disease, so talk with your primary care provider to learn more about your individual level of risk. Don’t have a primary care doctor? UM Charles Regional Medical Group – Primary Care, conveniently located in La Plata, is now accepting new patients.

How You Can Make Heart Health a Priority This Month and Beyond

Following your doctor’s advice is the best way to put your heart health first in your life. He or she will be able to provide personalized recommendations based on what is known about your medical history. But here are some more universal ways to start living a heart-healthy life and prevent heart disease:

  • Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day
  • Choose a diet that’s high in nutritional value and low in sodium and unhealthy fats
  • Get the recommended amount of sleep for your age group every night
  • Find healthy ways to cope with stress and anxiety, especially during the pandemic
  • Keep your medical appointments and take medication as it’s been prescribed to you

How UM Charles Regional Medical Center is Focused on Heart Health

American Heart Month is very near and dear to our hearts at the hospital because much of what we continue to focus on is promoting heart-healthy living in our community. We’re a designated Primary Stroke Center and are proud to offer a comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation program right here in Southern Maryland to ensure Charles County and the surrounding area doesn’t have to go far to find expert, compassionate heart-health care.

To learn more about our full range of services, including services for the heart, please visit our website or call (301) 609-4000.

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