This post has been sponsored by Walgreens as part of Heart Health month. All content and opinions are my own.
How’s your heart doing?
It’s February which means two things. It’s time to check the emotional state of your heart (February 14th is Valentine’s Day) and the physical state of your heart (February is American Heart Month).
Unfortunately, the heart is something we don’t think too much about until something goes wrong, which is the worst time to be thinking about it. We want to be checking in advance. It’s kind of like preventative maintenance on your car, only WAY more important!
I’m constantly keeping tabs on my heart because unlike the saying, my heart actually does skip a beat. It’s skips quite a few beats and for years I worried there was something wrong with me. I’ve had several EKGs done in the doctor’s office and everything looks fine.
“Of course it looks fine right now,” I say. “It’s not skipping a beat right now.”
They suggested at some point that I could wear a portable EKG machine for a 24 hour period but I knew it was fruitless because I never could guarantee when this beat skipping would happen. Apparently, they weren’t too worried about it because I’ve always been sent home with no further instructions.
It turns out heart palpitations are pretty common and, for the most part, are chalked up to “electrical glitches.” Great. Figures I’d get the model with glitches.
So my heart is functioning just fine but that doesn’t mean everything else is doing what it should. There are a lot of things I can check and do to make sure all the pieces and parts of the circulatory system are doing what they should be doing. I make sure I get a full physical every year with a complete blood workup and I make sure I keep up with my blood pressure.
Every wonder why they check your blood pressure every time you go to the doctor? Because uncontrolled high blood pressure is a leading cause of heart disease.
Now I’ll ask you a different question. When the doctor or nurse takes your blood pressure, do you ask them what the numbers are? Do you know what those numbers mean? If you don’t, do you ask?
I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to take control of your own health, especially as you get older. Even if you take good care of yourself, age has a way with our bodies and sometimes we need extra help.
The older I get, the more I realize that our bodies don’t operate the way they used to. My brain starts forgetting things. My waistline starts to expand. And my cholesterol insists on making me eat more vegetables. I’m working on improving my diet and exercise but I’m making sure I’m monitoring my progress and my health along the way.
Here’s where Walgreens comes in because I know you were wondering where I was going with this. They asked me to participate in their Heart Health #HeartHealthGoals campaign during February. Since I always see so many hearts at Walgreens in February, I figured I was perfect for this!
Yeah, that wasn’t really what they meant. Don’t despair though! Dark chocolate may actually improve your bloodflow, lower your blood pressure, and reduce your risk for heart disease. But that’s not actually why Walgreens invited me, and YOU, to pay them a visit this February.
During the month of February, I encourage you to head to the pharmacy area of Walgreens where you’ll find several things that can help you maintain your heart health.
Check for the Heart Health display with featured products designed to improve your heart health.
In this display, I found blood pressure monitors designed to be worn on the arm or the wrist. Personally, I like the idea of the wrist monitor since my skinny arms are usually squeezed so tight they turn purple.
And there’s fish oil, which we all know is excellent for the heart (thank you, Omega-3 fatty acids). If you take fish oil regularly, I salute you. I can’t stomach it and turn instead to MegaRed Krill Oil which comes in teeny tiny (comparatively) capsules.
You’ll also find low dose aspirin. Aspirin is important because it can thin your blood and make the flow easier but check with your doctor before adding this to your regimen.
You’ll also find a multitude of multivitamins that can also help in maintaining heart health.
But there’s one more thing you can do for FREE at Walgreens that I took advantage of.
Get your blood pressure screened by the pharmacist. Simply go to the pharmacy window, fill out a form, and wait until the pharmacist calls you.
After a very short wait, I was called into a private room where I had my blood pressure checked with an automatic blood pressure cuff.
And you better believe that I not only asked for the results but asked how they compared to normal rates (mine was 124/84 and normal is considered 120/80). I also asked the pharmacist what the risk factors were for high blood pressure which he advised included smoking, being overweight, genetics, and age.
Yes, AGE is a risk in your blood pressure. Just aging can increase your blood pressure so make sure to have it checked frequently even if it’s been fine all your life. And here’s how Walgreens can help.
Head into Walgreens for your FREE blood pressure test, like I did, and get 500 BONUS POINTS* Learn more at Walgreens.com/BloodPressure.
Plus receive coupons to earn:
- 5000 BONUS POINTS when you buy any Walgreens brand automatic blood pressure monitor
- 5000 Balance® Rewards points with purchase of 4 Walgreens brand vitamins and supplements
- FREE AARP membership
And take advantage of these February Heart Health Offers:
- Get a FREE blood pressure test and get 500 Balance® Rewards points
- 5000 Balance® Reward points with purchase of 4 Walgreens brand vitamins and supplements
- $3 off Walgreens brand Glucosamine products
- 5,000 Balance® Rewards points when you purchase a Blood Pressure monitor
- Get a FREE blood pressure test and receive a FREE AARP membership
- Balance Reward for healthy choices® at Walgreens.com/healthychoices (You get points for logging your blood pressure, tracking activity like walking or cycling, and setting healthy goals.)
***Not available in AR, NJ or NY. Must present Balance® Rewards card in pharmacy to redeem offer.
Offer valid 1/31/16-2/27/16 only.
No purchase necessary. Limit one redemption per card member. Restrictions apply. Due to state and federal laws, points cannot be earned or redeemed on some items, and points will not be earned in a transaction where store credit or redemption dollars are used.
See full terms and details at Walgreens.com/Balance.
†Coupons print at register. Restrictions, exclusions and expirations apply to coupon redemption. See coupon for details.
Balance® Rewards members earn points on qualifying purchases. See details at Walgreens.com/Balance.