What you can do for your heart beyond wearing red

National Wear Red Day takes place on February 2, 2018. This designation is intended to raise awareness about the risk factors of heart disease, and the importance of taking steps toward prevention. On this day, you’ll likely see plenty of people at heart hospitals and in your community proudly wearing red. Although it’s good to raise awareness, taking concrete steps to improve your health is even more important. Riverside Community Hospital connects patients with caring specialists who can provide personalized treatment plans and lifestyle recommendations.

Talk to friends and family about heart health
On National Wear Red Day, you can encourage your loved ones to be proactive about their own heart health. Schedule a physical exam for your partner, invite a co-worker to take a walk with you after work or ask your kids to help you prepare a low-sodium vegetarian meal. Share information about the importance of a heart-healthy lifestyle on your social media accounts.

Know your heart health numbers
Do you know your blood pressure and cholesterol level? If it’s been a while since you had a screening test, it’s time to schedule an appointment. See how your numbers compare to these ideal ranges:

  • Blood pressure: Below 120/80
  • LDL cholesterol: Below 100
  • HDL cholesterol: 60 or higher
  • Total cholesterol: Below 200
  • Body mass index: 18 to 25
  • Resting heart rate: 60 to 100

Set goals to improve your numbers
If all of your numbers are already ideal, then keep making healthy lifestyle choices to maintain your heart health. Otherwise, your doctor can help you learn about medical management options or lifestyle changes to improve your health.

Establish specific, reasonable goals for making lifestyle modifications. For example, instead of aiming to cut down on sugar, your goal could be to eliminate added sugar in coffee. Once you’ve mastered that, work on eliminating soda from your diet.

Every small change can help you reach your goal, and your doctor can give you guidance along the way.

From diagnosis to follow-up, you’ll find a continuum of care at HeartCare Institute at Riverside Community Hospital . Our team of cardiovascular surgeons, cardiologists and nurses is committed to giving each patient the superior care he or she needs for the best possible outcome. Call 911 for medical emergencies, or call a registered nurse in Riverside at (951) 788-3463 for general information about our heart hospital.

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