Heart Health

Research  Heart Health

When it comes to heart health, what you don’t know can hurt you.

We all know that we’re supposed to take care of ourselves to have healthy hearts. We’re just not always clear about what that means or how to stay on the right track. That’s where NMHI can help.

We’ll support your efforts at keeping your heart healthy with information, positive reinforcement, and the kinds of tests that will let you know exactly what you need to do to stay healthy.

“There’s a history of cardiac disease in my family, which has always worried me, especially as I’ve gotten older. I heard about calcium scoring, a test you can have done very quickly to find out if you have calcium in the arteries in your heart. Within thirty minutes of my test at NMHI, I was comforted with the fact I did not have blockages in my heart.”

The main idea, of course, is to follow a heart-healthy lifestyle that will help prevent heart disease. Not everything is within our control – such as family history, age, gender, race and ethnicity. But no matter what our background, there are always steps we can take to stay healthy.

The most important fact to remember is that heart disease is the leading cause of death in America. So we need to be aware of both general and specific risk factors.

“I was never certain about what type of diet I should be on to prevent or slow the process of heart disease. After visiting with physicians at NMHI, it became very clear I needed to change my lifestyle. I changed more than my diet. I’ve stopped smoking and started an exercise program with my kids. It has actually brought us closer together as a family.”

For example, smoking or using tobacco of is one of the most significant risk factors for developing heart disease. The chemicals in tobacco narrow your arteries (atherosclerosis – which can lead to a heart attack). The carbon monoxide in tobacco smoke replaces some of the oxygen in your blood, which increases blood pressure and heart rate by forcing your heart to work harder to supply enough oxygen. It will take five years, by the way, after you stop smoking, for your risk of heart disease to be the same as a nonsmoker’s. We can help you quit and stay off tobacco, starting now.

“Searching for information on high blood pressure online can be very confusing. I just wanted to make to make sure I didn’t have high blood pressure because I want to be around when my grandkids grow up. It was such a relief to get on a plan of exercise and diet through NMHI because I now know I can be a part of my grandkids’ life.”

Getting regular exercise – such as walking 30 minutes several times per week – can reduce your risk of heart disease. Along with maintaining a healthy weight. So, obviously, a heart-healthy diet is important. This is hardly news to most of us. But sticking with it can be hard. And so can taking the right steps on one’s own. We can help with that.

Getting enough quality sleep is important, too. Sleep deprivation can lead to obesity, high blood pressure, heart attack, diabetes and depression. Most of us need seven to nine hours of quality sleep each night. If you’re not getting that, we can tell you why.

And, of course, you need to get regular health screenings. Without testing, you won’t know if you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, which can damage your heart and blood vessels. That’s what we’re here for.