So, I’ve been thinking about the color of red. I’m thinking of red roses, red dresses, red envelopes in the mailbox, red hearts, Valentine’s Day, and most of all LOVE! February 14 is particularly special to me because it is the anniversary of the day my husband proposed marriage.
And February is American Heart Month, which represents yet another symbolic red. In 1964, former President Lyndon Johnson, who had had a heart attack, issued the first proclamation of American Heart Month. This year, heart health awareness is even more important due to the impact of COVID-19, which research suggests has potential harmful effects on the heart and vascular system.
Why am I fixated on heart health? Did you know that heart health and brain health are very interconnected? Here at The Ivey, we are all about brain health! Significant data and research show that keeping your heart healthy lowers your risk for brain health problems such as stroke and dementia. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains why: “Your heart pumps blood through vessels to every part of your body, including your brain. Damage to blood vessels can lead to serious health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, and vascular dementia.”
Vascular dementia is a type of dementia that we, at The Ivey, see often in our members. It can surface when damaged blood vessels form a series of small blood clots called “mini-strokes,” resulting in memory loss, slowed thinking, and personality changes.
However, there is GREAT NEWS! According to the CDC, heart disease, stroke, and vascular dementia are preventable! You can take the steps below to reduce your risk NOW!
Control your blood pressure.
Eat healthy foods (vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy, seafood) and lower your salt intake.
Get diabetes under control.
At The Ivey, we know that what’s good for the heart is also good for the brain. Besides showering our members and families with love and affection each day, we incorporate 5 pillars of brain health into our daily programming and activities, whether at our Onsite Club or in our Virtual Activity Center. Those tenets are: 1) Physical exercise, 2) Social interaction, 3) Healthy nutrition, even in snacks, 4) Mental exercise, and 5) Relaxation and mindfulness for a better night’s sleep at home.
Linking two important “reds,” we all need to love our own hearts! How are you taking care of your heart and, by association, your brain? Would love to hear your comments! And I’ll be sprinkling in more tidbits of brain health/heart health pointers in The Ivey VINE! Stay connected!
Got a comment? I love ’em! Email them here and I’ll read and reply.