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February is American Heart Month!
Did you know that people who have close relationships at home, work, or in their community tend to be healthier and live longer? One reason, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), is that we’re more successful at meeting our health goals when we work on them with others. Here are some facts, how-to tips, and resources to inspire you to join with others, even if you can’t be physically together, to improve your heart health. Just a reminder, Conifer is here to connect with our enrolled members on their journey! Please feel free to remind employees by sharing this link to our health observances page which provides Conifer’s contact info, a link to our provider search page (if they need to find a doctor), and information on Health Advocate (in case they need assistance in finding a doctor that fits their needs)! This is also a great time to remind employees about getting their preventive care appointments booked now!
Heart disease is a leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. Most middle-aged and young adults have one or more risk factors for heart disease, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or being a smoker or overweight. Having multiple risk factors increases your risk for heart disease.
Why Connecting is Good for Your Heart
Feeling connected with others and having positive, close relationships benefit our overall health, including our blood pressure and weight. Having people in our lives who motivate and care for us helps, as do feelings of closeness and companionship.
Follow these heart-healthy lifestyle tips to protect your heart. It will be easier and more successful if you work on them with others, including by texting or phone calls if needed.
- Be more physically active.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Eat a nutritious diet.
- Quit smoking.
- Reduce stress.
- Get 7-8 hours of quality sleep.
- Track your heart health stats.
You don’t have to make big changes all at once. Small steps will get you where you want to go.
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute also has great outreach resources to bring American Heart month to your employees (social media resources, fact sheets, articles, slides, and flyers). Feel free to use these as part of your own wellness program to encourage engagement with their primary care physician!