A Valentine That Still Counts: Plans for National Heart Month
February is Healthy Heart Month. Despite awareness around the importance of cardiovascular health, heart disease is still the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one in every four deaths in the U.S. is caused by heart disease.
While some risk factors for heart disease can’t be controlled — like age and family history — you can help patients make nutrition and lifestyle changes that can potentially help lower their risk for cardiovascular disease.
Eating a heart-healthy diet, getting physical activity, reducing or eliminating alcohol and smoking can help decrease your chances of developing heart disease.
Assign a Heart Healthy Nutrition Plan in Well WorldⓇ
Support your patients with one of the nutritionist-designed plans in the Well World® that support heart health:
- Cardiometabolic Support — this nutrition plan focuses on promoting a healthy heart following a diet of whole fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins such as organic, free range chicken and wild caught fish, as well as plenty of fluids.
- Intermittent Fasting + Cardiometabolic Support — this plan combines the cardiometabolic plan with the intermittent fasting timer to restrict eating to a planned window of time. Intermittent fasting may help promote weight loss.
- Mediterranean Diet — this heart-healthy diet is rich in vegetables, fruit, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds, and olive oil. It is mostly plant-based, with the addition of poultry, fish, and low-fat dairy in moderation.
Have Patients Increase and Track Their Movement
A little more movement can go a long way when it comes to promoting a healthier heart.
In a recent study analysis, people who occasionally run had 27% increased longevity, compared to non runners.
Light to moderate exercise is all your patients need to get their blood pumping. Anything from low impact activities, such as walking or swimming, to higher intensity exercises such as hiking, skating, or dance, can all offer cardiovascular benefits.
If you have patients who are largely sedentary or inactive, you can encourage them to start taking daily walks outside.
Brisk walking can be enough movement to help improve moods, manage weight, promote heart health, strengthen bones and muscles, and promote flexibility. Since this is a less intense form of movement, patients can walk daily.
Your patients can track their workouts in Well World manually or automatically when they sync their Well World app with their fitness devices and trackers.
Help Patients Build a Meditation Practice
Meditation is already known to support the mind and body, and especially to help reduce general anxiety or stress. Research confirms that people who practice meditation can significantly lower their risk of heart attack or stroke. It has also been found to help lower heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate, and cortisol levels.
You can have your patients use the built-in meditation timer in their Well World® app to start a simple, daily practice. Even a 5- or 10-minute mindful breathing session can make a difference in your patients’ physical and mental well-being.
If you offer meditation instruction in your practice, you can also record a short, guided meditation video. Upload it to the nutrition plan you prescribe in Well World. Your recorded video will be available to each patient that gets assigned that plan.
Giving patients access to Well World® can help them become more committed to their overall well-being, especially their hearts. This helps patients stay accountable to their care plan and can help them feel more empowered to make changes that support their long-term health.