Every February, American Heart Month inspires us to examine one of the most pressing health concerns in the U.S. and to make positive changes in our lives. No matter how old you are, preventative care and knowing how to maintain a healthy lifestyle is the best thing for your heart.
Your Heritage and Your Heart
African Americans have a higher rate of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity and diabetes, which are the four major risk factors for heart disease. Sometimes socioeconomic status, education, environment, stress, culture and history are the reasons for heart disease. While genetics does play a role, lifestyle habits have a more significant role in the rate of heart failure for African Americans before the age of 50.
The good news is that by understanding the risks and adhering to a healthy lifestyle, heart disease is oftentimes preventable. This all starts by taking the right steps toward a healthier lifestyle when managing chronic illnesses such as diabetes and blood pressure, eating healthy, exercising and stress management.
Maintaining a Healthy Heart
Eat Smart – The American Heart Association recommends replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats such as avocado, salmon and olive oil to lower rates of cardiovascular disease and cholesterol.
Add Color – Use more fruits and vegetables in your diet by incorporating what’s in season right now in Nevada. The more color on your plate, the better for your health.
Move More – Exercising for 30 minutes or more every day can help you lose weight, improve your cholesterol, and even lower your blood pressure.
Be Well – Mental health is just as important as physical health. Practice mindfulness, and if you can, remove everyday stressors from your life.
Becoming an Organ Donor and Save Up to Eight Lives
February 14th is National Organ Donor Day, a day where we spread awareness about the importance of becoming an organ donor. When you become a donor, your organs have the potential of saving eight lives and improve the lives of over 50 people through eye and tissue donation. Although organ donation is based on strict medical criteria, it is a generous decision on your part that is easy to opt into at any age.
Currently, over 110,000 people in the U.S. are waiting for an organ transplant, with roughly 20 people dying daily waiting for a donor. If you haven’t registered yet, join the 41% of Nevadan donors and register today.
There are three ways to become an organ donor in Nevada:
- Register at your local DMV
- Register online
- Register using a paper form and mail it to the address on the form
For more information on becoming a donor, visit nvdonor.org today.
Having a healthy heart usually means leading a healthy life. Make small changes this month to decrease your cholesterol and lower your heart’s age. Schedule a checkup with your doctor to make sure your ticker is working right. If you’re not currently enrolled in health insurance, it’s time to get covered. Certain qualifying life events (QLE) may make you eligible for a special enrollment period. QLE’s are life-changing events such as job loss, income change, marriage/divorce and birth/adoption of a child to name a few.
Nevada Health Link can connect contact a certified broker or navigator to see if you qualify for special enrollment. Email us at CustomerserviceNVHL@exchange.nv.gov for any additional questions you may have concerning affordable health insurance and start your enrollment process today.