Keep your true love heart healthy in Georgia
February is all about your heart-felt feelings for your true love – and a great time to show how much you care by taking action to help reduce your and your significant other’s risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke.
“Gifts of cards, flowers, and chocolate-covered strawberries are wonderful,” says Andrew Kobylivker, MD, a Kaiser Permanente Georgia cardiologist and our Heart Failure Clinic director. “But working together to improve each other’s heart health can strengthen a couple’s bond and extend their lives together.”
Dr. Kobylivker suggests a variety of things couples can do to support each other in this way. One of the biggest is to keep track of for cholesterol, blood pressure, fasting blood glucose – and making sure that they get routine check ups. “Focus on what the numbers are because that can be a big deal,” he says. “People don’t always know they have high blood pressure – normal blood pressure is below 140/90 or 150/90 if you’re over 60 with no chronic conditions.”
Make sure your significant other also eats a heart-healthy diet rich in vegetables and lean meats. Stay away from fast and processed food as much as possible.
“Cooking whole, healthier food is a way to spend time together and enjoy each other’s company – and a better option than settling for fast food or processed food,” Dr. Kobylivker says.
Dr. Kobylivker also recommends you make sure your partner:
- exercises to keep or get their numbers on track. Moderate activity for 30 minutes, 5 times a week is good.
- gets enough quality sleep, preferably 7 to 8 hours. Inadequate sleep has been linked to heart disease.
- keeps stress, marital and otherwise, to a minimum and seeks counseling if anxiety, stress, and depression get out of hand.
- feels supported and loved. Mental and emotional health has been repeatedly shown to contribute to a long, healthy life for couples.
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