February: American Heart Month
President Obama declared February as American Heart Month—a time to recognize heart disease as the number one killer among Americans. As with most things, knowledge is power and nothing is truer when it comes to your health. Knowledge helps you better understand what you are at risk for and how to make informed decisions about mitigating those risks.
Some of the top risk factors for the disease include high cholesterol, high blood pressure, inactivity, and stress. It is important to be regularly monitored by a health professional to make sure you do not fall into any of these categories. If you do, there are many way to manage your risks, including activity and massage therapy. Recent research suggests that including massage therapy into your exercise routine is beneficial to heart health.
The Buck Institute for Research on Aging conducted a study in 2012 that says massage therapy reduces inflammation of skeletal muscle acutely damaged through exercise. Evidence suggests that massage affects inflammation in a similar way anti-inflammatory medications do. So as you create your fitness plan, be sure to include regular massage therapy in your repertoire!
If you’d like more information about American Heart Month, see the American Heart Association’s website.