February is Heart Month


Arcanum News for the week of Feb. 7, 2022

By Vickie Rhodehamel

The month of February is often associated with hearts because of Valentine’s Day; however, there’s another reason we should think about hearts in February since it’s American Heart Month. February is designated as American Heart Month to advocate cardiovascular health and raise awareness about heart disease.

American Heart Month is a wonderful opportunity to focus our attention on ways to promote and maintain heart health. Since 1963, American Heart Month has been celebrated as a way to educate Americans to join the battle against heart disease. February is the perfect time to learn more about your heart, how to take care of it, and how to detect signals of cardiovascular disease.

Risk factors often develop as you age; things such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol increase your chances of having a stroke or developing heart disease. Likewise, controlling and preventing risk factors are that much more important if you already suffer from heart disease. Luckily, there are many ways to keep your heart in great shape, even as you age. Although statistics show that heart disease risks increase with age, with correct, healthy lifestyle habits and a heart-healthy diet.

You can keep your heart healthy no matter how old you are, by making changes in your everyday habits. Here’s how to get started:

· Get enough exercise. Physical activity is one of the best ways to improve heart health. The American Heart Association recommends that individuals perform at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise.

· Quit smoking. If you’re still smoking, it’s time to quit. There are many benefits to living a smoke-free life including improved circulation, reduced risk of certain types of cancer, and feeling more energetic.

· Eat a heart-healthy diet. Load up on fresh fruits and vegetables while limiting saturated fats, salt, and foods containing cholesterol, like fatty meats. A Mediterranean diet focuses on eating a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and fish and seafood instead of red and processed meats.

· Watch your numbers. Get regular check-ups to monitor health conditions that affect the heart, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes, and make sure they’re under control with medication.

· Reduce your alcohol intake. Excess alcohol consumption can worsen health conditions that contribute to heart disease, such as high blood pressure, arrhythmias, and high cholesterol levels.

· Watch your weight. To help prevent heart disease, maintain a healthy body weight for your size. Too many pounds can add up to increased heart disease risk.

· Get better sleep. It’s critical for seniors (and everyone) to have a good night’s sleep. Most experts say that seniors should sleep between seven and nine hours each night. Sleep is beneficial for brain functionality, metabolism, immune functionality and emotional well-being.

· Reduce stress factors. According studies, stress can compound many heart disease risks that older adults already face, like high blood pressure. Take the time to find healthy outlets to relieve stress and lower your risk of heart disease.

American Heart Month should be used as a reminder to take care of your body and your health as you age, to reduce your risk of developing heart disease and other health conditions. It’s never too late to start living a healthy lifestyle and reducing your heart disease risks!

Hearts are also a symbol of love and Valentine’s Day, but there’s no rule that says it has to be all about romantic love. February 14 is also a great time to show appreciation for friends – the old ones, the close ones, the fast ones, the true ones, and most importantly, the best ones. Take some time and send out a few extra cards on this upcoming holiday and put a smile on someone else’s face. To all my friends and family, I hope you have a fantastic Valentine’s Day full of love, flowers, chocolate, and whatever else makes you happy.

Arcanum VFW Post 4161 will hold a Fish Fry this Saturday starting at 5 p.m. They are located at 311 S. Albright Street. Dinners include fish, baked beans, baked potato, and cole slaw for $8.

SAVE THE DATE! The Friends of Bears Mill will hold its annual Soup ‘n Bowl Fundraiser on Saturday, Mar. 12, 2022. There will be three seating times available at 5, 6:30 and 8 p.m. Tickets can be purchased by visiting the Mill or by calling 937-548-5112 during normal business hours, Tuesday to Wednesday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday to Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m. Tickets are $30 for members and $35 for nonmembers. Handmade pottery bowls are being donated by Julie Clark, Rita Wiley, Dionne Mayhew, Scott Thayer, Ben Deeter, Amy McGraw, Scott Shafer, Mary Boettger, and Stephanie Schieltz-Lowder. Complimentary soup and bread is donated by the Brethren’s Home Retirement Center and Bakehouse Breads of Troy. The Mill is located at 6450 Arcanum Bears Mill Road just eight and a half miles north of Arcanum.

“February is merely as long as is needed to pass the time until March.” ~Dr. J. R. Stockton

“February is the border between winter and spring.” ~Terri Guillemets

Vickie Rhodehamel is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her Arcanum community column. She can be reached by calling 937-423-3763, by email at [email protected]. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.

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