Dr. Whitney Carlson is currently a second-year family medicine resident at The Washington Hospital. She is originally from Iowa and attended Des Moines University medical school, in Des Moines, Iowa. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and being outside.

February is American Heart Month

Maintaining heart health is crucial for overall well-being and longevity. The heart, a powerful muscle responsible for pumping blood throughout the body, requires proper care to function optimally. Adopting a heart-healthy lifestyle involves a combination of regular physical activity, a balanced diet, and avoiding harmful habits such as smoking. Regular exercise helps strengthen the heart muscle, improve blood circulation, and manage weight, reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins provides essential nutrients that support heart health, while limiting saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, and sodium helps prevent the buildup of plaque in the arteries. Additionally, managing stress through techniques like meditation or deep breathing can positively impact heart health by lowering blood pressure and reducing strain on the cardiovascular system.

Regular cardiovascular check-ups and screenings are integral components of heart health maintenance. Periodic monitoring of blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and other key indicators allows for early detection of potential issues, enabling timely intervention and prevention of heart-related complications. Awareness of family history and understanding personal risk factors also play a crucial role in developing a proactive approach to heart health. By prioritizing a heart-healthy lifestyle, individuals can significantly reduce the likelihood of heart disease, enhance their overall quality of life, and promote longevity.