It’s hard to imagine 35 years ago critical illness insurance didn’t exist. Not until heart surgeon Dr. Marius Barnard and his brother successfully performed the first human heart transplant. It was then they realized doctors could fix the body – but insurers needed to fix finances.
With six of every seven heart attacks being nonfatal – the cost of ambulance transport, ER visits, procedures and continuing care like doctor visits and prescriptions add up. In the event of a serious health event, critical illness insurance provides a lump sum of money for a qualifying event. And you can spend that money anyway you choose.
“It’s important to remember the heart plays a vital role in giving your body life – not just during Heart Month – but all year long,” says Mandy Stogner, a health and wellbeing consultant for Unum. “Making simple changes in the foods that fuel your body and your activity level can drastically impact your heart and overall health.”
Here are a few tips for better heart health:
Eat a Balanced Diet. A heart-healthy diet can help manage your cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar. Your diet should include a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, fish, skinless chicken, and healthier fats. Be sure to limit saturated fats, sweets, sugary sodas and teas, added salt, and fatty, processed meats.
Stop Smoking. Cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of disease and death in the United States. Smoking increases the risk of coronary heart disease, and coupled with family history of heart disease, your risk greatly increases. If you are ready to quit, many health plans have a Smoking Cessation Program available at no cost to employees.
Get Active. The Centers for Disease Control report nearly 38% of American adults are now obese, but you can reduce your risk for heart disease and stroke and improve blood pressure, blood sugar levels and blood lipid profiles just by walking 30 minutes a day. Grab a friend and get your steps in!