February is American Heart Month, so what better time to take some steps to protect your heart health with a little help from your local pharmacy in Powell, TN? You might be surprised at what a big impact even small lifestyle changes like moving more and choosing more healthy foods can have on your overall heart health.

What is Heart Health?

The heart is a muscular organ responsible for pumping blood throughout your body. Heart health is a catch-all term for the overall well-being of this organ and is often monitored by using your heart rate, or pulse, which is the number of times the heart beats every minute. As part of maintaining your heart health, it is important to understand the risk factors that can increase the likelihood of heart disease and cardiovascular disease.

Common Heart Problems

Heart disease is an umbrella term that covers a number of different conditions that can affect the heart in terms of its structure and function. Cardiovascular disease is slightly different in that it covers diseases affecting the heart and also blood vessels. Let’s take a look at some of the most common issues you might run into if you do not take steps to address your heart health.

  • Coronary Heart Disease - Often when you hear someone refer to ‘heart disease’ they are referring to coronary heart disease. This is when a build-up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances collectively known as plaque clogs the arteries and reduces how much oxygen-rich blood can reach your heart.
  • Heart Attack - Most people have heard of a heart attack, but you may not have heard the medical name: myocardial infarction. This occurs when the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscles is blocked suddenly. When the heart isn’t getting enough oxygen it will begin to die so the blood flow must be quickly restored.
  • Cardiac Arrest - It is common for cardiac arrest to be mistaken for a heart attack, but they are two different conditions. During a cardiac arrest, the heart unexpectedly stops pumping and stops blood flowing to the brain and other vital organs.
  • Stroke - a stroke is often associated with the brain, which is correct, but it often stems from poor heart health. Strokes occur when blood flow to the brain gets blocked resulting in a lack of oxygen and essential nutrients reaching the brain. Without these nutrients, brain cells can begin to die in a matter of minutes so it is important to take action immediately if you notice the signs of a stroke.
  • Hypertension - Blood pressure is the force of blood as it pushes against the walls of the arteries. When blood is flowing through the arteries at a higher rate, this is known as hypertension which can trigger heart attacks, stroke, or other complications. You can pick up a blood pressure monitor to track your blood pressure from your local pharmacy in Powell, TN if you have any concerns about your blood pressure.
  • Pre-Eclampsia - Pre-eclampsia is another type of hypertension that only occurs during pregnancy. It usually happens around the 20th week and can lead to placental abruption or preterm labor.

Simple Steps to Improve Heart Health

As you can see, many different conditions can affect your heart if you are not taking good care of it. Heart disease is the leading cause of death among adults in the United States, but in many cases, it is completely preventable. Here are a few of the simple things you can do to improve your heart health.

  • Get Enough Sleep - Did you know that not getting enough sleep can increase your risk of hypertension and heart disease? Aim to get around 8 hours of sleep every night and if possible set a routine where you go to bed and wake up at a similar time each night. Your local pharmacy in Powell, TN can recommend over-the-counter sleep aids if you need a helping hand getting to sleep.
  • Maintain a Healthy Weight - Keeping your weight in check is a crucial part of your overall health and well-being and will reduce the risk of many conditions, especially heart disease. Losing just 10% of your body weight can have a big impact on your heart health.
  • Be More Active - It has been proven that physical activity helps to lower the risk of stroke and heart disease. Adults should aim for at least 150 minutes per week of activity - that’s around 20 minutes a day and is completely manageable for most people. You don’t have to hit the gym, even a brisk walk each day is enough to keep your heart pumping.
  • Eat Healthier Foods - Have you heard the phrase ‘you are what you eat’? Well, if you eat healthier food, your body will be healthier too! Make sure you have a balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables.
  • Stop Smoking - Even occasional cigarette smoking can result in damage to your heart and blood vessels so make steps to cut it out if you want to improve your heart health! Your local pharmacy in Powell, TN, can provide cessation support and products such as nicotine gum or patches to help you quit.

These are just a few of the things you can do to support your heart health. If you have any concerns about your heart or just need some advice on following some of these steps, your local pharmacy in Powell, TN, is here to help.

Your Hometown Pharmacy Since 1966

Vaughn Pharmacy is a local, family-owned pharmacy serving the community in Powell, TN. Specializing in providing personalized and attentive prescription programs to our patients, we believe you are more than just a number – you’re part of our family!


(865) 947-1581