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The Important Benefits of a Healthy, Strong Heart

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The Important Benefits of a Healthy, Strong Heart

The heart is considered a vital organ because of the role it plays in our livelihood. It pumps blood throughout our body, ensuring our organs and tissues receive enough oxygen and nutrients to remain healthy and function properly. As part of the cardiovascular and circulatory system, the heart’s health is essential to maintain which includes taking proactive measures that ensure the muscle is strengthened and healthy for longer, healthier life.

Good heart health is a byproduct of healthy eating, working out, and regularly checking in with your doctor to make sure there are no issues—and if there are, they can be addressed immediately. These activities keep your heart healthy and reduce your chances of developing heart conditions that might lead to severe or even emergencies.

According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women; one person dies every 36 seconds from heart disease. The cost to control or maintain a heart condition is estimated at roughly $219 billion each year.

It’s also important to note heart disease is more than just a heart attack; heart disease also includes conditions such as coronary artery disease (CAD), heart infections, heart failure, angina, peripheral arterial disease (PAD), and more. While many of these conditions can be managed and are not considered high-risk for an emergency or life-threatening, there are benefits to taking care of your heart health for the long-term; doing so not only reduces heart conditions as we age, but it lessens the risk for chronic conditions that must be maintained with medications.

While we could certainly add more to this list, here are our top three benefits of having a healthy heart:

1. Lower blood pressure

According to the CDC, your blood pressure is the pressure of blood pushing against the walls of your arteries. Your arteries are responsible for carrying blood to your heart and other parts of the body. When this is impacted by low or high blood pressure, symptoms or conditions may present and affect your overall health. High blood pressure mainly develops over time and is generally a result of unhealthy lifestyle habits, thereby damaging your internal organs, most notably your heart. When you take care of yourself and monitor your blood pressure, you reduce the risk of hypertension and heart failure.

Because your blood pressure is important, it’s measured by two numbers: systolic, indicated by the pressure your blood is pushing against the artery wall when the heartbeats, and diastolic, marked by the force your blood is pushing against the artery while the heart is resting. A normal blood pressure range is less than 120 mm Hg for systolic and less than 80 mm Hg for diastolic.

2. Prevent high or low blood sugar and insulin levels

Baptist heart health blood sugar

Glucose, also known as sugar, is how our body gets its energy. We rely on it heavily to function throughout the day. But when there’s too little or too much sugar within the body, symptoms begin to occur, negatively affecting our health. Having low blood sugar essentially means your body is in desperate need of energy, and common warning signs are headaches or dizziness.

On the other end of the spectrum is high blood sugar, and generally, it’s controlled with insulin. However, people’s natural insulin can become affected, which in turn causes blood sugar levels to rise. If they rise too quickly, it can cause your blood sugar to drop.

While our bodies are great at managing our blood sugar levels, sometimes health conditions, age, and lifestyle habits interfere with this natural process. Blood sugar levels are a balancing act. We don’t need too much glucose, but we can’t have too little of it either. What we eat plays a detrimental role in how we obtain and use sugar. Food is a source of nutrients, but if we’re not careful about what we consume — like an excessive amount of sugar — we can negatively impact our health, leading to chronic health conditions such as hyperglycemia, diabetes, kidney failure, heart and blood vessel disease and the increased risk of heart attacks or strokes.

3. Reduce the risk of heart attacks

baptist heart attack prevention

The amount of blood our heart gets is integral to its well-being. When the blood flow is blocked by a buildup of fat, cholesterol, or plaque, it restricts the amount of blood the heart receives. In some instances, a blood clot can form and block blood flow, decreasing the amount of blood the heart receives. When our organs and tissues don’t receive the proper blood supply, they’re effectively being deprived of oxygen and begin to die.

While medications can help prevent heart attacks and lower the risk of heart disease, it’s never too late to reduce or take preventative measures to curb conditions that may lead to this fatal emergency. By taking care of your heart by eating healthy, exercising, limiting both smoking and alcohol intake, you will prevent complications that often arise as you get older. Modern medicine has come a long way in improving cardiovascular health, but if it’s something that can be prevented altogether, we should ensure that we’re doing what we can to have a longer, healthier life with a happy heart.

If you are experiencing any signs or symptoms of a heart condition it is important to seek medical advice immediately. If you feel your condition is a true emergency, call 911.

Baptist Emergency Room & Urgent Care's emergency room is open 24/7, and urgent care is available from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day. Appointments are unnecessary - walk in, and our healthcare professionals are ready to help at both of our locations.

Navarre - 8888 Navarre Pkwy., Navarre, FL 32566. Call the center at 850-750-5698.

Nine Mile - 9400 University Parkway Suite 101A Pensacola, FL 32514. Call the center at 448-227-4600.

Baptist Emergency Room & Urgent Care is comprised of board-certified ER-trained physicians and professionally trained ER nurses who deliver quality medical care. Our urgent care and emergency room can effectively treat various medical conditions. From fever to fractures, allergies to abdominal pain, and colds to concussions, we have you covered with on-site labs, CT, X-rays, and ultrasound.