American Heart Health Month, observed in February, serves as a reminder of the importance of maintaining a healthy heart. During Cardiac Rehab Awareness Week, which runs from Feb. 13 to Feb. 19, this message is especially emphasized. However, it’s crucial to recognize that heart health is a lifelong commitment that requires ongoing effort and attention.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, making it vital for individuals to take proactive steps to improve their heart health. Dr. Ashfaq Turk, a cardiologist, stresses the impact of lifestyle modifications in reducing the risk of heart attack, high blood pressure, and diabetes. These modifications include quitting smoking or using tobacco, maintaining a healthy weight, engaging in regular exercise, and following a diet low in saturated fats.
Saint Joseph Health System offers comprehensive care for individuals who have experienced a heart attack, heart disease, or open heart surgery. This includes a rehabilitation program that focuses on lifestyle modifications, education about diet and risk factors, and monitored exercise programs to support ongoing heart health. As part of their efforts, the health system is also providing hands-on CPR classes to their patients to ensure they are prepared to respond if someone experiences a heart attack in their presence.
To participate in the cardiac rehab program at Saint Joseph Health System, individuals must be referred by their cardiologist. By taking a proactive approach to heart health, individuals can work towards minimizing their risk of heart-related issues and improving their overall well-being.