February is National Heart Month

For more than ten years, we have started the month of February with a review of cardiovascular health. It is, after all, one of the most critical elements of your long term wellness. Ignoring aerobic conditioning, is quite literally, a death sentence, as countless studies have shown.

Here are a few basics, and by the way, welcome to our new website! We are still putting on the final touches, but with the soon-to-launch inMOTION Customized Workout Module, we decided to move forward with a brand new website too!

Heart Health

The heart is about the size of a fist, and it beats an average of 120,000 times a day, generally without fail, until the day we die.  As a vital organ, the heart requires a constant supply of oxygen-rich blood for nourishment. The coronary arteries deliver this required oxygen and nutrients directly to the heart. However, when the arterial walls become blocked, due to plaque and fatty build up, these functions struggle and/or cease, and the heart suffers damage as a result.

Heart Disease is the number one killer in the United States, for both men and women (heart disease causes six times the number of deaths of breast cancer), and the most common cause of heart disease is the narrowing or blockage of the arterial walls, the vessels that supply oxygenated blood directly to the heart. This is called atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. This narrowing happens very slowly over time, it’s a slow progressive disease that results in either a heart attack or a stroke.

Six Main Risk Factors for Heart Disease

There are six controllable risk factors for coronary heart disease (and nearly 40% of us have at least 2 of the 6): high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, current smoking, physical inactivity, and obesity.

Heart disease, however, is a condition that you can control, so stop taking chances with your life and learn the facts. The first step is knowing where you stand, and here are a few websites that offer free assessments of your risk for heart disease:

American Heart Association - Risk Assessment 
Stanford University - Health Assessment for Women
Cardiosmart.org - Heart Disease Risk Questionnaire

 All month long, we'll be dealing with cardiovascular health, so feel free to chime in here. Have a great week.