February is not only the official month for cards, crafts and Cupid. It's also (and one may argue more importantly...) American Heart Month and a nod to the most essential organ in our bods.
There are a LOT of well-known numbers associated with tickers gone awry and how to make 'em better. Take a gander at a few here:
- About 610,000 people die from Heart Disease in the United Sates each year.
- That's 1 in every 4 deaths.
- Someone has a heart attack every 42 seconds in the United States.
- The U.S. spends about 207 billion on Heart Disease each year.
- Aim for 7, not 5, not 9 hours of sleep each night.
- Keep total cholesterol under 200mg/dL, that is broken down into <100LDL and >60HDL.
- Keep saturated fats under 10% of your daily caloric intake. Ex. 1,500 cal/day=17grams. 2,500cal/day=28grams.
The list goes on, useful information cultivated by the medical world, all with the hopes of making these tickers tock a little stronger. The stats above are impressive and certainly shed light on how important heart health is. There is SO much you can do to make your body, and especially your heart, healthier.
However, it can be a little overwhelming.
Your eyes begin to glaze over a bit when lookin' at all...those...numbers...Where to start? What's that really mean? What about the rest of my organs?! Are they all as screwed as my thumper?!
Our Valentine's gift to you...some clarity:
ONE thing. ONE "number."
That is, the ONE thing you should do to help all of the numbers of gloom above (no offense saturated fat but you're a bit unnecessary).
What that really means and how you may interpret it isn't all that important. We could tell you that engaging in an activity for 30 minutes most days with a goal of reaching somewhere between 40-85% of your maximum heart rate is the way to go. But again, the eyes may being to glaze over a bit and you are left with more doubt than desire. The one thing to remember and to even loosely understand is the overwhelming, ever so simple message to just...move.
Move more often than not. In more ways than one. In the morning and at night. In your office and at home. In "official" exercise capacities and casual bursts of activity. In the summer and winter. During the work week and on vacation.
Keeping your body moving, truly and sincerely moving, is the most important means to a healthy cardiovascular end. So while the metrics above are incredibly useful, we hope to hit you with Cupid's activity arrow and remind you that while chocolates are good, you absolutely know what you're going to get with this one.