Back to Top Skip to main content

Heart Health Month: Stopping the number-one killer

Going to the gym regularly can certainly improve heart health. So can taking a walk or using the stairs instead of the elevator. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Matthew Lancaster) Going to the gym regularly can certainly improve heart health. So can taking a walk or using the stairs instead of the elevator. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Matthew Lancaster)

Recommended Content:

Physical Activity | Heart Health

FALLS CHURCH, Va. — As a cardiologist, the overall health of my patients is my priority and heart health a major focus. Cardiovascular disease, commonly known as heart disease, is often misunderstood to be a disease that only affects those in their 60s, 70s, and 80s. The alarming truth is it can also impact fit and healthy service members in their 30s and 40s. When I treated a young service member for chest discomfort after he had passed physical tests with ease, I witnessed his dismay as he was told he’d have to have a stent placed in an artery.

Dr. Jamalah Munir, a cardiologist at Fort Belvoir Community Hospital in northern Virginia, encourages people to take command of their heart health and decrease the risk for heart disease – the leading cause of death among men and women in the United States. (Fort Belvoir Community Hospital courtesy photo)Dr. Jamalah Munir, a cardiologist at Fort Belvoir Community Hospital in northern Virginia, encourages people to take command of their heart health and decrease the risk for heart disease – the leading cause of death among men and women in the United States. (Fort Belvoir Community Hospital courtesy photo)

The good news is heart disease is treatable and often also preventable. Throughout February, the Military Health System is dedicated to raising awareness and encouraging service members, veterans, and their family members to take care of their powerhouse organ.

Heart disease can be influenced by family history, lifestyle, and behaviors. As the number-one killer of Americans, heart disease affects roughly one in four people, and it’s not slowing down. With an increasing trend toward sedentary lifestyles and a growing number of processed foods in the American diet, an obesity epidemic has taken hold in western society. That makes it more important than ever to be proactive and take command of your own health through prevention.

Prevention through education and dedication is critical in the fight against heart disease. Many of its risk factors, such as smoking, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol, are preventable or controllable. Minor changes in our lifestyles and choices can make a positive change in our overall heart health. Incorporating daily exercise and healthy eating, as well as making small changes to our routines, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator and reducing sugar, salt, and fat intake, can make a significant improvement to our health and happiness.

Because heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, we encourage everyone to maintain routine check-up with your doctor, maintain a healthy weight, and properly manage any chronic problems such as high cholesterol, diabetes, or high blood pressure.

The MHS is committed to continuing to educate service members, veterans, and their families about the risks and warning signs of this dangerous disease. Wear Red is on Friday, February 2, and join us as we raise awareness about heart health and keep this conversation going. Small lifestyle changes that become habits can go a long way toward reducing your risk of developing heart disease. Now is the time to take command of your health.

You also may be interested in...

Sunrise Yoga Class

Photo
9/29/2016
Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Tara Paradiso participates in a sunrise yoga class on the flight deck aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt. If you’re thinking of adding exercise to your pain management plan, consider the following types: aerobic, strength, and flexibility. But make sure your exercise program is specifically tailored to your needs. Some exercises might be easier or more difficult to complete depending upon the type and location of your pain. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Chris Liaghat)

Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Tara Paradiso participates in a sunrise yoga class on the flight deck aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt. If you’re thinking of adding exercise to your pain management plan, consider the following types: aerobic, strength, and flexibility. But make sure your exercise program is specifically tailored to your needs. Some exercises might be easier or more difficult to complete depending upon the type and location of your pain. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Chris Liaghat)

Recommended Content:

Physical Activity | Consortium for Health and Military Performance

Flag Football Game

Photo
9/28/2016
Youth participate in a flag football game on Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma, Arizona. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Travis Gershaneck)

Youth participate in a flag football game on Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma, Arizona. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Travis Gershaneck)

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health | Children's Health | Physical Activity

Vitamin D B12 Deficiency

Photo
9/19/2016
Adequate intake of B vitamins is important to ensure optimum energy production and the building of muscle tissue.

Adequate intake of B vitamins is important to ensure optimum energy production and the building of muscle tissue.

Recommended Content:

Nutrition | Physical Activity
Showing results 1 - 3 Page 1 of 1

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing: Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.