How to assess your heart health

Since heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the U.S., knowing the state of your heart health is one of the most significant things you can do for your overall well-being. When you understand your personal heart health risks, you can take steps to keep them under control and lessen the chances that you will need cardiology specialty care . There are several easy things you can do to assess the heart of your health. Focus on heart health with these assessment tips.

Check your pulse
Your pulse can give you a great deal of information about your heart’s rate and rhythm. Follow these steps to check your own pulse at home:

  • Put the index and middle fingers of one hand on the inner wrist of the opposite hand in the area below the thumb. Move your fingers around until you can feel the tapping of your pulse.
  • Count the beats you feel for 10 seconds.
  • Multiple that number by 6—this will tell you the number of beats per minute.

Usually, people have resting heart rates between 60 and 100 beats per minute. This number can vary based on a number of factors, however. Keep in mind that fit people have lower heart rates. By performing this check regularly, you can get an idea of what is normal for you and recognize any changes that you may want to discuss with your doctor.

Check your blood pressure
Home blood pressure cuffs let you check your blood pressure without going to the doctor’s office. Healthy blood pressure is less than 120 over 80. If either of your numbers is higher, you could have high blood pressure.

You can have occasional abnormal readings for a number of different reasons, from stress to illness. Repeated high readings could indicate that you need treatment to control your blood pressure.

Know your numbers
See your physician regularly for tests that provide clues about your heart health. You should have regular screenings for:

  • Cholesterol
  • Blood glucose
  • Blood pressure

Your weight is another important number to know. Being overweight increases your risk of heart health problems.

You can also test your heart health by taking the Heart Risk Assessment from Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center. Should you need heart care, our Cardiovascular Institute offers renowned cardiology care in Thousand Oaks. To obtain a referral, please dial (877) 888-5746.

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