We often associate the month of February with hearts because of Valentine’s Day. However, there’s another reason we should think about hearts in February; it’s American Heart Month. February is designated as American Heart Month to raise awareness about heart disease. This is a great time to learn more about your heart and how to take care of it!
What is Heart Disease?
Heart disease, also known as cardiovascular disease, is a catchall phrase for several types of heart conditions. The most common type of heart disease in the United States is coronary artery disease (CAD), which affects blood flow to the heart and can lead to a heart attack.
One in five deaths is due to heart disease, even though the disease is largely preventable. Risk factors include diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or being a smoker or overweight. Having multiple risk factors increases your risk for heart disease.
Heart Disease Prevention
Make heart health a part of your self-care routine. Devoting a little time every day to care for yourself can go a long way toward protecting the health of your heart. Simple self-care, such as taking a moment to de-stress, giving yourself time to move more, preparing healthier meals, and getting enough sleep can all benefit your heart.
“Studies show self-care routines, such as taking a daily walk and keeping doctor’s appointments, help us keep our blood pressure in the healthy range and reduce our risk of heart disease and stroke,” says David Goff, M.D., director of cardiovascular sciences for the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI).
It may be easier than you think to “put your heart” into your daily routine. Each Sunday, look at your week’s schedule and carve out 30 minutes daily for heart-healthy practices. Take an online yoga class, prepare a heart-healthy recipe, or schedule your bedtime to get at least seven hours of sleep.
How CBD Can Help
In addition to the suggestions above, adding CBD to your self-care routine could benefit your heart. You may already know that CBD can be used to manage stress and improve sleep, two important ways to reduce your risk of heart disease.
What you may not know is that CBD can help to directly maintain healthy cardiovascular function. It can prevent heart disease in a number of ways, including protecting against hardening of the arteries, lowering blood pressure, and reducing the incidence of potentially dangerous arrhythmias. CBD is a powerful antioxidant, meaning it may also protect against heart disease by reducing the cellular damage that happens when we’re exposed to the free-radicals that are often found in processed foods and environmental pollutants.
If you’re already taking medication for blood pressure, cholesterol, or other heart conditions, it’s important to consult with your doctor before you start taking CBD, as high doses could interfere with how your body metabolizes these drugs.
The bottom line? Healthy living is the best way to delay or avoid heart disease. This means being active, eating healthy, avoiding tobacco and managing stress and other conditions that can put you at greater risk. For more information on keeping your heart healthy, visit www.hearttruth.gov.