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It’s American Heart Month: How’s Your Heart Health?

February is American Heart Month, and this year marks the 100th birthday of the American Heart Association — which makes this an excellent time to check in on your heart health. Are you living the kind of healthy lifestyle that protects you against heart disease?

At Hormonally Balanced, we are here to support your whole body health. Keep reading to learn tips for a heart-healthy lifestyle, how medical weight loss can benefit your cardiovascular health, and all about the Go Red for Women campaign.

Why Heart Health Matters

Cardiovascular disease is the no. 1 cause of death in the United States. But that statistic isn’t cause for panic — because 90% of cardiovascular disease can be prevented, according to the American Heart Association. Even small changes, the kind you can start making today, can make a big difference when it comes to your heart’s health. 

What Is a Heart-Healthy Lifestyle?

When you choose a heart-healthy lifestyle, you take steps to minimize your chances of developing heart disease, which can eventually result in a heart attack or stroke. Living a heart-healthy life starts with understanding what the risks are, knowing what choices you can make to reduce those risks, and leaning into healthy choices in every area of your life. The results are good not only for your heart but also for your overall well-being. 

Semaglutide and Heart Health

There’s a new weapon in the fight for heart health, and it comes from a somewhat unexpected direction. A recent large-scale study published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that regular use of semaglutide is effective in preventing fatal heart attacks and strokes. The study focused on patients who were overweight or obese but who did not have diabetes.

Semaglutide, the active ingredient in the medications Ozempic and Wegovy, is already well-known for its ability to help people lose weight and control diabetes — and now it appears to play a significant role in the world of cardiovascular disease as well. 

Steps You Can Take to Live a Heart-Healthy Lifestyle

At Hormonally Balanced, we’re committed to supporting your health and well-being in every possible way. Take a look at these simple steps you can take to live in a heart-healthy way. 

Stay Active

Exercise is good for your cardiovascular system — and for every other part of your body, including your brain. And yet most of us don’t get the minimum amount of activity recommended by health professionals.

You can protect and strengthen your heart with as little as 75 minutes a week of intense aerobic exercise or 150 minutes of moderate activity. Break that up into small 15-minute segments to fit it into your schedule. And remember — if even that sounds like too much, start moving just a little bit every day, because some activity is better than no activity.

Monitor Your Blood Pressure

Your blood pressure gives you an inside look to your heart health. It’s all too easy for your blood pressure to creep upwards over time without your noticing it at all. High blood pressure may sound innocent, but it can be a precursor to heart disease and stroke as well as other serious medical conditions.

Many people can control their blood pressure through diet, exercise, and reducing salt intake. Some people need to take medication to keep their blood pressure at a health level of under 120/80. Your doctor can tell you if medication would be helpful.

Eat Healthy Foods

What you eat affects your heart. If you’re eating a poor diet, you’re more likely to develop high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes, all of which can be very detrimental to your heart’s health.

A heart-healthy diet centers on low-calorie foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Make sure you’re eating plenty of veggies, whole grains, fruit, low-fat dairy, fish, legumes, and poultry. And what you don’t eat is just as important as the foods that do go in your mouth. Minimize added sugars, foods with saturated and trans fats, processed foods, red meat, and beverages loaded with sugar.

Monitor Your Cholesterol

When your cholesterol is high, fatty deposits known as plaque line the walls of your arteries. That can lead to the kind of blockage that results in a heart attack or stroke. While some people are genetically predisposed to high cholesterol, there are plenty of steps you can take to keep cholesterol under control.

Eating a low-cholesterol diet, of course, is always a good idea. That primarily means staying away from saturated fats and trans fats. If that doesn’t do the job of lowering your cholesterol, your doctor may want to prescribe a statin drug.

Manage Your Blood Sugar

When you eat carbohydrates (especially simple carbohydrates, or sugars), your blood levels of glucose rise. Your pancreas then secretes insulin to keep your blood sugar level within a healthy range. However, for some people, this process breaks down and doesn’t work correctly, resulting in diabetes.

If you have diabetes, your risks of cardiovascular disease are greatly increased, so you need to keep your blood sugar under control. Healthy eating and maintaining a healthy weight can help those with Type 2 diabetes. In any case, you should plan on regular medical checkups to help manage your blood sugar in a healthy way.

Achieve and Maintain a Healthy Weight

If you’re carrying extra weight, you put an extra burden on your heart. Maintaining a healthy weight releases that burden — and you’ll see the effects through lower blood pressure in addition to looking and feeling better overall.

Yes, eating healthy, watching your caloric intake, and maintaining a strong exercise regimen can help here. But medical science has finally come to the rescue for many people who have spent years working out and eating right without seeing the extra pounds disappear. New medications such as semaglutide are opening the door to weight loss for many people who’ve tried their best in the past. At Hormonally Balanced, we can answer all your questions about these revolutionary new medical approaches to weight loss.

Keep Your Vaccines Updated

Your heart health can be impacted by certain infections. That gum infection that your dentist is concerned about can actually travel quickly to your heart and cause bigger problems, for example. By staying up to date on your vaccines, you can protect your heart against some of the most common infectious diseases.

Your primary care provider should have a record of all your vaccinations, so you can update them as needed. Make sure to stay current with the DPT (diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus) vaccine as well as your Covid-19 vaccine and pneumococcal vaccine, which protects against bacterial pneumonia. In addition, it’s a good idea to get a flu shot every year.

Living a heart-healthy lifestyle

Minimize Stress

When you’re stressed, your blood pressure goes up — and that’s bad for your heart. Stress can also lead to poor health choices. You might smoke, avoid exercising, drink too much alcohol, or eat too much — and all of those have a bad effect on your heart health as well. In addition, stress can lead to mental health issues, including depression and anxiety.


Proper self-care goes a long way to alleviating stress. You might want to practice mindfulness or meditation, or you might opt for yoga or relaxation exercises. Seeing your doctor or therapist can put you on the right path to learning techniques for minimizing stress in your life.

Limit Alcohol Intake

You can lead a heart-healthy lifestyle if you drink alcohol — but drinking too much isn’t a good choice. Overconsumption of alcohol can result in high blood pressure and high triglycerides (not to mention alcoholism and obesity).

Work With Your Health Care Team to Maintain a Healthy Heart

Your doctors can help you stay on top of your heart health. Regular screenings for blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol will help you know what’s going on in your body — and they’ll help your medical team know if you need to take any action (or medication).


Whenever you visit your doctors, bring along a list of questions to make sure you understand any diagnosis or suggested treatment. At Hormonally Balanced, we’re devoted to answering all your questions.

Quit Smoking

One of the best things you do to be heart-healthy is to avoid smoking. If you smoke or vape, today is the time to stop. Yes, it’s hard — but dealing with a heart attack is much harder. Talk to your doctor today about the options available to help you through the challenge of quitting smoking.

Get Plenty of Sleep

Your sleep health has an effect on every part of your body. If you don’t get adequate sleep (think at least 7 hours a night), you’re more likely to develop heart disease and high blood pressure, as well as sleep apnea and insomnia.


Practice good sleep hygiene by turning away from screens an hour before bedtime, sleeping in a room that’s cool and dark, avoiding caffeine and alcohol, and limiting your bedroom activities to just sleep and sex. If you still have problems sleeping, a sleep study can help determine the causes and put you on the right track again.

The Go Red for Women Campaign

In 2004, the American Heart Association launched the Go Red for Women campaign to help women learn about their risks of heart disease. At that time, many people saw cardiovascular disease as something that just affected men, even though heart disease and stroke were the no. 1 cause of death for women.


In the Go Red for Women campaign, the American Heart Association teamed with the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to help raise awareness of the issues surrounding women and heart disease. They chose a red dress as a symbol of the campaign, focusing on making women aware of their risk factors for cardiovascular disease and helping them understand how they can protect their heart health.


The Go Red for Women campaign encourages women to get needed checkups, learn about heart health, commit to an exercise regimen, and eat a heart-healthy diet. The campaign funds research into heart health, and it provides resources that women can use to take charge of their own health.

Hormonally Balanced Supports Your Heart Health

At Hormonally Balanced, we believe in whole body and whole mind health. We understand how important your cardiovascular health is to your overall well-being, and we want to support you as you pursue a heart-healthy lifestyle. Our support for you includes offering medical weight loss options so you can feel healthy and strong and enjoy the mental health boost that comes with liking what you see in the mirror and the number you see on the scale. We are here to help you with medical weight loss, bioidentical hormone therapy, thyroid therapy, and anti-aging therapies. We believe in personalized medical care — and that’s what we deliver. Contact us today to set yourself on a path for heart health and overall well-being.

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