Taking control of your heart health

Take care of your heart by taking matters into your own hands. You have the power to keep your heart health in check outside of the doctor’s office. Below are several ways you can be proactive in maintaining a healthy heart.

Do your research

Does heart disease run in your family? Has a member of your family suffered from a heart attack? Your family history plays a major role in your risk factors for heart disease and stroke. These are questions you should be asking and reviewing with your health care provider as soon as possible.

Monitor your blood pressure

Self-monitoring is an effective way to track your blood pressure, also known as the “silent killer”. For those with diagnosed high blood pressure and prescribed medication, self-monitoring helps you and your health care provider see if medication is working. Local pharmacies offer blood pressure screenings and free heart monitoring to the public. Keep reading for apps to download to help you track you BP!

Know your numbers

Along with your blood pressure numbers, don’t forget to be conscious of your body mass index, or BMI. Your BMI indicates your level of body fat, and can be determined simply by plugging your height and weight into an online BMI calculator. Ultimately, the higher your BMI, the higher your risk is for developing heart disease and other chronic conditions. You should also be aware of your cholesterol, which should be less than 200 mg/dL. There are two types of cholesterol: LDL and HDL. LDL is considered the “bad” and “HDL is the “good” kind. Too much of LDL can cause a buildup in your arteries, which can lead to heart attack and stroke.

Download heart-friendly apps

Your mobile device can be a life-saver, literally. Check out these heart-friendly apps that can help you control your overall health.

•Healthy Heart 2: tracks blood pressure, blood glucose, pulse, cholesterol, potassium and medications

•Instant Heart Rate +: monitors your heart rate and measures your pulse with the camera feature

•PulsePoint: connects someone experiencing cardiac emergency with nearby CPR-trained responders

•Cardiio: aims at helping you reach optimal health with life expectancy and endurance scores, as well as by calculating heart rate using a face scan

 

It’s never too early to start having conversations about your heart health. To schedule an appointment at the Heart Hospital of New Mexico at Lovelace Medical Center, please call 505-727-1100.