Why It’s Important to Have A Lung Cancer Screening?

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, and at Gulf Coast Health Center, we like to recognize the occasion by helping to raise awareness about lung cancer, the importance of lung cancer screenings, and the factors that could increase your risk of developing lung cancer.

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November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, and at Gulf Coast Health Center, we like to recognize the occasion by helping to raise awareness about lung cancer, the importance of lung cancer screenings, and the factors that could increase your risk of developing lung cancer.

What Is Lung Cancer Screening?

A lung cancer screening is a diagnostic test that is performed for the purpose of examining a patient for signs of lung cancer. A lung cancer screening cannot diagnose lung cancer but simply checks for signs of abnormalities in the lungs.
The only test currently approved for lung cancer screening is a computed tomography (CT) scan. This scan uses advanced x-ray technology to take detailed images of a patient’s lungs. If visual signs of lung cancer or other abnormalities are present, further tests, such as a biopsy might be recommended.
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Why Lung Cancer Screening Is Essential

Like most types of cancer, the early detection of lung cancer greatly increases the chances of achieving a successful treatment outcome. In its earliest stages, lung cancer is much more successfully treated than when treatment begins in the later stages after the disease has had time to advance.

Lung Cancer Risk Factors: Who Should Be Screened Regularly for Lung Cancer?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that individuals in the following high-risk categories be screened annually for lung cancer:
We recommend scheduling a lung cancer screening if you fall into any of these categories or are concerned about your lung health for other reasons (such as exposure to long-term second-hand smoke, respiratory carcinogens, or other harmful chemicals).
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Lung Cancer Screenings and Respiratory Healthcare in Texas

If you’re concerned about the health of your lungs and respiratory system, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with a doctor at Gulf Coast Health Center. We can give your lungs a listen and talk with you about your medical history, lifestyle, risk factors, and any symptoms you might be experiencing to help you determine the best course of action. To learn more or schedule a lung cancer screening, we welcome you to contact one of our locations along the Gulf Coast of Texas today.

Mental Health Awareness Week: The Stigma Behind Mental Illness & How You Can Show Your Support For Those Struggeling

Mental Health Awareness Week (MIAW) is an annual event that takes place during the first week of October. The goal of the week is to raise awareness of mental health conditions, fight discrimination, and provide support to those affected by mental illness.

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Mental Health Awareness Week (MIAW) is an annual event that takes place during the first week of October. The goal of the week is to raise awareness of mental health conditions, fight discrimination, and provide support to those affected by mental illness. Mental health conditions affect millions of Americans each year, and the number of people affected continues to rise. This week is an important opportunity to learn more about these conditions and how we can all help improve the lives of those living with them.

What is Mental Illness?

Mental illness is a condition that affects a person’s thinking, feelings and/or mood. It can lead to a wide range of symptoms, including changes in behavior, energy levels, concentration, appetite, and sleep. Mental illness can affect anyone at any time, but often starts during the teenage years or young adulthood.
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There are many different types of mental illness. The most common types are:

Depression: Depressed people often feel sad, hopeless and worthless. They may lose interest in activities they used to enjoy and have trouble sleeping or eating.
Anxiety disorders: People with anxiety disorders often feel extremely worried or anxious all the time and have trouble controlling their fears. This can lead to problems such as avoiding social situations, panic attacks and problems with sleeping and eating.
Bipolar disorder: People with bipolar disorder experience extreme mood swings, from mania (a high period where they feel very happy and energetic) to depression (a low period where they feel very sad and hopeless).

Schizophrenia: Schizophrenia is a condition that causes people to see, hear or believe things that aren’t real. They may also have trouble thinking clearly, managing their feelings and relating to others.

Common Behaviors Associated With Mental Health Disorders:

Mental health conditions can often be difficult to spot, as many people with these conditions may seem perfectly normal from the outside. However, there are some behaviors that can be warning signs of a mental illness. If you notice that a friend, family member, or acquaintance is displaying any of the following behaviors, they may be struggling with a mental health condition:
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How Can You Help Someone Cope With A Mental Health Disorder?

The common misconceptions and stigmas surrounding mental health disorders cause many to feel alone and misunderstood. It’s crucial to remember that people with mental health disorders are just that: people. They are the friends, family members, co-workers, and neighbors we all know.
If you believe someone you know is struggling with a mental health condition, the best thing you can do is offer your support. Let them know that you care and are there for them, and offer to help them find resources and treatment. It can be challenging to cope with a mental illness, but with the right support, it is possible to manage the condition and live a happy and productive life.

Mental Health Treatment At Gulf Coast Health Center

By providing access to affordable care, Gulf Coast Health Center is helping to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness by making it easier for people to get the help they need. Through Counseling, Psychiatric Evaluations, Medication Management, and Substance Abuse Treatment, the Doctors and Staff at GCHC provide people with the support they need to manage their mental health disorders and live healthy, happy, and productive lives. Call today to Schedule an Appointment with one of our Mental Health Professionals!
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Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month: What You Need to Know

Did you know that Ovarian Cancer is the deadliest form of cancer in women? In fact, it is responsible for more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system. September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, and we want to do our part in raising awareness about this deadly disease

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Did you know that Ovarian Cancer is the deadliest form of cancer in women? In fact, it is responsible for more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system. September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, and we want to do our part in raising awareness about this deadly disease. Here at Gulf Coast Health Center, we pride ourselves on being a reliable source of information for common health issues. Our goal is to help as many people as possible live long, happy, and healthy lives. So, here is what we think you need to know about Ovarian Cancer.

What is Ovarian Cancer and Who Does it Affect?

Ovarian cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the ovaries. The ovaries are two small, almond-shaped organs located on either side of the uterus that produce eggs and hormones. Ovarian cancer usually occurs after menopause, but it can happen at any age; however, it is most common in women over 60 years old.
One possible reason why ovarian cancer happens more often in older women is that the ovaries are more likely to have abnormalities as a woman gets older. These abnormalities can lead to the development of ovarian cancer. Additionally, as a woman gets older, her body’s ability to fight off cancer cells may decline, which can also lead to an increased risk of developing cancer.
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Different Types of Ovarian Cancer

There are several types of ovarian cancer, but the most common type is epithelial ovarian cancer. This type of ovarian cancer starts in the thin layer of tissue that covers the ovary. Other types of ovarian cancer include germ cell tumors and stromal tumors. Germ cell tumors start in the cells that make eggs, and stromal tumors start in the connective tissues that hold the ovary together.
Ovarian cancer is difficult to detect in its early stages because it often does not cause any symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they are often vague and nonspecific, such as bloating, pelvic pain, or feeling full quickly. As the disease progresses, other symptoms may develop, such as abdominal pain, back pain, constipation, diarrhea, fatigue, and weight loss. If you experience any of these symptoms on a regular basis for more than two weeks, you should see your doctor right away.

Can You Prevent Ovarian Cancer?

There is no sure way to prevent ovarian cancer. However, there are some things you can do to reduce your risk. These include maintaining a healthy weight, eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and avoiding tobacco products. If you have a family history of ovarian cancer, you may be able to reduce your risk by taking birth control pills or having your ovaries removed.
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Treatment Options for Woman With Ovarian Cancer

If you are diagnosed with ovarian cancer, treatment will depend on the stage of the disease. The earlier the disease is caught, the better the chances for successful treatment. Treatment options include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Ovarian cancer is a serious disease, but it is treatable. With early detection and proper treatment, many women with ovarian cancer can go on to live long and healthy lives. Schedule an appointment for a cancer screening today!

Early Cancer Detection With The Help of Gulf Coast Health Center

If you have questions about your health, or simply want to talk to someone please call Call Gulf Coast Health Center today! Our passionate and loving doctors and staff want to help and are standing by to take your call.
Spread the word and let’s work together to make a difference. Thanks for reading!

Am I Drinking Too Much Coffee? 7 Signs You Need to Cut Back on Caffeine

Consider the following signs of drinking too much caffeine to determine whether you might benefit from cutting back on your coffee and soda breaks. Gulf Coast Health Center is here to help you maintain healthy habits. Contact us today for a free consultation!

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When most people think about consuming too much caffeine, they picture themselves bouncing off the walls and getting all of their work done. The reality, however, is a bit more subtle. Consider the following signs of drinking too much caffeine to determine whether you might benefit from cutting back on your coffee and soda breaks.

7 Signs You're Drinking Too Much Coffee (or Too Much Caffeine)

1. You Feel Anxious

Too much caffeine can exacerbate your worries. It not only triggers the fight or flight response (the physiological response to stress) but it also can keep you from getting quality sleep. Both of these can make you feel more anxious than normal.

2. You Have a Stomach Ache

Coffee can increase the acids inside your stomach, leading to a stomach ache and heartburn.

3. You Feel Like Your Heart Is Racing

Caffeine can increase your heart rate and even lead to feelings of dizziness. If you feel like your heart is going to flutter out of your chest, then you should probably reduce your caffeine intake.
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4. You're Running to the Bathroom Frequently

Coffee also has laxative properties that result in diarrhea. Additionally, caffeine is a diuretic that might have you running to the bathroom for other reasons, too.

5. You Can't Sleep

Too much caffeine intake or consuming caffeine too late in the day can cause insomnia and other sleep disturbances.

6. You Feel Jittery

If you start to feel jumpy or jittery after consuming caffeine, this is because it speeds up your central nervous system. This effect is why coffee helps you feel more awake and alert. Too much of a good thing, however, can leave you feeling unwell.

7. You're Getting Frequent Headaches

A little caffeine can increase the effectiveness of certain pain medications. Too much coffee, however, can lead to caffeine withdrawal which causes severe headaches and fatigue.

Nutritional Counseling and Wellness Checks Along the Gulf Coast

Whether you think you’re drinking too much caffeine or you’re drinking too much caffeine because you’re suffering from chronic fatigue, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with a doctor at Gulf Coast Health Center. We can talk with you about your symptoms and help you get your health back on track.
To learn more or schedule an appointment, we welcome you to contact any of our locations along the Texas Gulf Coast today.

3 Simple Things to Do Before Bed for a Healthier Lifestyle

If you’ve branded yourself a “night owl” and find that you have a difficult time falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up feeling rested, we recommend starting with the following three tips to sleep better and have a healthier lifestyle.

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 70 million Americans suffer from chronic sleep problems. That’s a lot of tossing and turning and sleepless nights (not just in Seattle), and these numbers don’t include those who are undiagnosed or who suffer from curable sleep problems that are caused by poor sleep hygiene or avoidable stresses.
If you’ve branded yourself a “night owl” and find that you have a difficult time falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up feeling rested, we recommend starting with the following three tips to sleep better and have a healthier lifestyle.

3 Simple Things to Do Before Bed for a Healthier Lifestyle

1. Watch What and When You Eat and Drink

Your diet can have a big impact on your sleep. You probably know that you should cut the caffeine early in the day, but you should also avoid drinking alcohol too late at night, too. Additionally, don’t eat right before bed because digesting can actually keep you awake.

2. Get Bright Light Exposure During the Day

We all have what’s called a circadian rhythm, and this is an internal clock that regulates the body’s hormone production that tells it when to feel sleepy and when to have energy and be awake. Make sure you are exposed to plenty of bright, natural sunlight during the daytime. This natural light helps to regulate your circadian rhythm, making sure it’s in sync with the sunrise and sunset.

3. Unplug Early

Blue light (the kind of light that comes from computers, tablets, television, and smartphone screens) has the same effect on the body’s circadian rhythm that natural sunlight light does – it keeps you awake. Unplug from your devices and turn off the television at least an hour before going to bed. The dark will help encourage your body to start producing melatonin, a hormone that makes you feel sleepy and helps you to fall asleep.

Trouble Sleeping? Schedule a Checkup at Gulf Coast Health Center

If you’re having trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or feeling rested in the morning, we recommend scheduling an appointment to see a doctor. Sleep problems can go beyond playing Words With Friends too late into the night, and any issues or changes with your sleep warrant a medical checkup. To schedule an appointment, we welcome you to contact any of our locations along the Gulf Coast today.

5 Tips for Clear and Healthy Skin

Whether you suffer from chronic acne, hormonal breakouts, rashes, dry skin, eczema, or sensitive skin, skin problems can be frustrating, uncomfortable, and have a negative effect on a person’s self-esteem. If you find yourself struggling with skin concerns, consider the following tips to promote clear and healthy skin.

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Whether you suffer from chronic acne, hormonal breakouts, rashes, dry skin, eczema, or sensitive skin, skin problems can be frustrating, uncomfortable, and have a negative effect on a person’s self-esteem. If you find yourself struggling with skin concerns, consider the following tips to promote clear and healthy skin.

5 Tips for Clear and Healthy Skin

1. Eat a Healthy Diet

Eat a nutritious diet filled with antioxidant-rich foods (fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts, and green and black tea). Avoid high-glycemic foods such as simple sugars and starch (bread, white rice, sweets, pasta, skim milk, and potatoes).

2. Stop Touching Your Face

Don’t touch your face with your hands or with your cellphone. Unless they’ve just been sanitized, your hands and your phone are likely covered with bacteria that can invade pores and lead to zits.

3. Wash Your Face and Moisturize

To help keep bacteria, pollution, dead skin cells, and oil from building up and clogging pores, wash your face in the morning and before bed. Typically a mild cleanser followed by an oil-free, sensitive-skin moisturizer works best.
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4. Use Sunscreen

Sunscreen not only helps your skin stay free from freckles, sun damage, and skin cancer, but it also keeps your skin cooler which helps to calm oil glands and prevent breakouts.

5. Choose Sensitive Skin Products

Sometimes, skin problems arise as a result of allergies and irritation. Choose products formulated for sensitive skin that have no fragrance, dyes, or other harsh ingredients that might irritate your skin.

Dermatology Appointments at Gulf Coast Health Center

If you feel like you have read all of the advice and tried absolutely everything, but you still struggle to keep your skin clear and healthy, then we strongly encourage you to schedule an appointment with your family doctor or a dermatologist (a skin specialist). Sometimes, medical issues such as hormonal imbalances can result in frequent breakouts, and your doctor might be able to help you manage the underlying condition causing your trouble.
Whether you are a teenager or an adult and you find yourself frequently frustrated with blemishes, rashes, or other recurring skin problems, we strongly encourage you to schedule an appointment with a doctor at Gulf Coast Health Center. We can talk with you about your concerns, perform an examination, run any necessary diagnostic tests, and help you determine the most appropriate course of action to get healthy, clear, and comfortable skin.

Preventing and Managing Arthritis

May is Arthritis Awareness Month, and the team at Gulf Coast Health Center is taking the opportunity to help educate our patients about arthritis while providing them with tips for living a healthier, more active, and less painful life with the condition.

Preventing and Managing Arthritis

May is Arthritis Awareness Month, and the team at Gulf Coast Health Center is taking the opportunity to help educate our patients about arthritis while providing them with tips for living a healthier, more active, and less painful life with the condition.
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5 Tips to Prevent or Manage Arthritis

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1. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Carrying around excess weight not only puts you at an increased risk for systemic health problems like cardiovascular disease and diabetes, but it also exacerbates the painful symptoms of arthritis. Being overweight or obese means that your joints have to carry a heavier load. This puts an excessive amount of stress on your joints, resulting in worse arthritis pain.

2. Exercise Regularly

Although it might sound painful, physical activity is actually one of the best ways to combat arthritis pain. Keeping yourself active throughout the day will help to prevent your joints from stiffening up. Additionally, it’ll help you combat weight gain. Physical activity also releases feel-good endorphins that make you feel happier while actually reducing pain.

3. Keep Your Blood Sugar in Check

Arthritis and diabetes go hand in hand. Having diabetes puts you at a higher risk of developing arthritis and having arthritis puts you at an increased risk of developing diabetes. If you’ve already been diagnosed, keep a close watch on your blood sugar because high blood sugar can actually worsen the stiffening of joints, making arthritis symptoms even more painful.

4. Avoid Injury

A joint with a history of injury is much more likely to develop arthritis than an uninjured one. Wear protective gear when participating in sports and work with a personal trainer when exercising in the gym to ensure you aren’t exhibiting any unhealthy postures or techniques that could result in an injury.

5. Eat an Anti-Inflammatory Diet

You can prevent and manage arthritis by focusing on eating the right nutrition, specifically nutrients that can reduce inflammation in your body and help to lubricate your joints. Fill your diet with foods containing omega-3 fatty acids and fresh fruits and vegetables.

Talk to a Doctor About Your Arthritis Risk and Management Plan

If you’re concerned about arthritis, we welcome you to schedule a pain management consultation with a doctor at Gulf Coast Health Center. We can talk with you about your lifestyle and provide you with a variety of treatments and recommendations designed to help you manage pain and prevent your arthritis from worsening. To learn more, contact any of our locations today.
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How Healthy Is Your Stress?

Stress gets a bad rap. No matter what, too much of it is usually a bad thing. However, some stress is actually good stress – also called eustress – and this type of stress can create meaning, flavor, and direction in our lives. So, while it’s important to manage your stress levels, you first need to understand the different types of stress and how they are helpful or harmful to you.

How Healthy Is Your Stress?

Stress gets a bad rap. No matter what, too much of it is usually a bad thing. However, some stress is actually good stress – also called eustress – and this type of stress can create meaning, flavor, and direction in our lives. So, while it’s important to manage your stress levels, you first need to understand the different types of stress and how they are helpful or harmful to you.
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Healthy Stress vs. Unhealthy Stress: What's the Difference?

Stress – whether healthy or unhealthy – is associated with a physiological response in the body called the stress response. Stress causes our bodies to release certain hormones (including cortisol). Plus, it triggers a release of adrenaline, elevates the heart rate, concentrates the blood flow around vital organs, and induces the fight or flight response.
What separates healthy/good stress from unhealthy/bad stress is simply the feelings, emotions, or perspectives attached to the physical changes that occur in the body.

Healthy Stress (Eustress)

Healthy stress is a stress response that’s associated with positive life events such as the excitement of a first date, riding a roller coaster, singing karaoke, or entering an interview for a job you really want.

Unhealthy Stress

Unhealthy stress is associated with negative events or things in a person’s life such as a difficult job, money problems, or an unhealthy relationship. It can either be acute (occurs in short, infrequent bursts) or chronic (occurs repeatedly and frequently).

Managing Both Types of Stress in Your Life

Just because eustress can help improve your life, give you a sense of purpose, and be fun, it doesn’t mean that experiencing it all of the time is healthy. Even good stress can trigger harmful physiological responses in our bodies, so don’t go out and turn yourself into an adrenaline junky.
If you find yourself encountering unhealthy stress on a regular or chronic basis, then you should take steps to mitigate the stress response that’s occurring inside your body. You can do this by attempting to avoid or change the circumstances that are causing you stress, changing your perspective, practicing meditation, getting plenty of exercise, participating in hobbies and self-care, and seeking out counseling with a mental health professional.
However you balance the ups and downs of life, professional counseling at Gulf Coast Health Center can help you navigate all of life’s twists and turns while keeping your stress levels in check. To learn more about the mental health services available to our patients or to schedule an appointment, we welcome you to contact any of our offices today.

Headaches? It May Be Time to Get an Eye Exam

Vision problems are not the only cause of headaches. However, they are a potential cause, and they’re more common than you might think. Throughout your lifetime, your eyes and vision will change. So, even though you have never needed glasses or had optical issues in the past, it does not necessarily mean that you won’t encounter these medical issues in the future.

Vision problems are not the only cause of headaches. However, they are a potential cause, and they’re more common than you might think. Throughout your lifetime, your eyes and vision will change. So, even though you have never needed glasses or had optical issues in the past, it does not necessarily mean that you won’t encounter these medical issues in the future.
If you find yourself getting frequent headaches that you can’t find another explanation for, then it is time to schedule an eye exam.
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How Are Headaches Related to Vision?

The primary reason why vision problems can cause headaches is eyestrain. Eyestrain is a condition that has become increasingly common as it is associated with the frequent use of electronic screens in addition to reading and other activities that require the prolonged use of concentrated, up-close vision. Eyestrain specifically related to electronic screen use is also called computer vision or digital eyestrain.
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Symptoms of Eyestrain

If you suffer from eyestrain, you might experience the following symptoms after the use of electronic screens, close-up work, or reading:

When Eyestrain Is a Cause for Concern

The occasional case of eyestrain can happen to anyone. However, if you notice that you experience symptoms of eyestrain or headaches more frequently, then the strain or symptoms of over-work might actually be related to an underlying eye condition that is affecting your vision or other aspects of your ocular health.
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Eye Conditions That Can Cause Eyestrain and Eye Pain

There are several conditions and vision problems that can lead to eye pain and headaches. Some of the most common include:
Vision problems such as astigmatism, hyperopia, myopia, and presbyopia can cause eyestrain if uncorrected. Thankfully, these conditions can be easily corrected with corrective lenses.
Other eye-related problems can be the result of a disease, aging, or another health condition. These issues and their related symptoms can be resolved with treatment of the underlying concern.

Eye Exams at Gulf Coast Health Center

If you suffer from frequent eyestrain or have been getting frequent headaches, we strongly encourage you to contact Gulf Coast Health Center to schedule an appointment with an eye doctor today.
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Heart-Healthy Exercises for American Heart Month

Each February marks American Heart Month, a time to raise awareness about the importance of heart health, ailments that affect the heart, and the things we can all do to improve our cardiovascular health and, subsequently, our quality of life and life expectancy as well.

February isn’t just a month for love; it’s a month for hearts, too! Each February marks American Heart Month, a time to raise awareness about the importance of heart health, ailments that affect the heart, and the things we can all do to improve our cardiovascular health and, subsequently, our quality of life and life expectancy as well.
Some heart problems can be prevented or resolved with treatment, and others are genetic or chronic (incurable). All cardiovascular issues, however, can be prevented, improved, and/or managed with the right lifestyle choices used in conjunction with treatment from a doctor. For example, taking steps to mitigate or reduce stress and anxiety, eating healthy, and exercising.
This American Heart Month, Gulf Coast Health Center is focusing on exercising for a healthier heart, and we invite you to talk with your doctor about adding the following heart-healthy exercises to your physical activities.
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3 Types of Exercise for a Healthier Heart

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1. Aerobic

Aerobic means “with air” and aerobic exercise is the kind that really gets you breathing. This type of exercise helps to improve your body’s circulation, lower blood pressure, and decrease average heart rate. Aerobic exercises include speed walking, swimming, running, cycling, tennis, and jumping rope.

2. Strength (Resistance) Training

Strength training helps to increase muscle mass and reduce fat, making a person’s overall body composition healthier. Strength training exercises include lifting weights (free weights or weight machines), working with resistance bands, and doing body-resistance exercises (push-ups, sit-ups, squats, etc.).

3. Flexibility and Balance

Stretching exercise does not necessarily affect your heart health. They do, however, benefit the musculoskeletal system overall, improving its function. As a result, practicing flexibility and balance training improves a person’s ability to strength train and participate in aerobic exercise.

Schedule a Checkup and Cardiovascular Health Screening at Gulf Coast Health Center

For optimal heart health, healthy adults should aim for about 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of high-intensity exercise weekly. That being said, we do not recommend drastically changing your level of intensity of physical activity without first consulting with a doctor to determine a healthy level of exercise based on your own unique needs and health history.
To learn more about heart health or to find out whether you’re at risk for heart disease, we encourage you to schedule an appointment for a cardiovascular health screening at Gulf Coast Health Center today.
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