Celebrate American Heart Month!
The month of February (or heart month) is dedicated to raising awareness of heart disease and to help people learn how to prevent heart disease, which is a major problem in the United States. Nearly 715,000 Americans will have a heart attack this year, and about 400,000 Americans will die because of heart disease, making it the leading cause of death in both men and women. Educate yourself here on the dangers of heart disease and how to keep you and your family’s hearts healthy!
Health conditions and lifestyle choices can affect a person’s chances of developing heart disease. The Center for Disease Control offers the following tips to help prevent heart disease:
- Don’t smoke – If you do smoke, now is a great time to quit. For resources on how to quit smoking, visit the American Cancer Society’s website.
- Manage your blood sugar – People with diabetes are at a higher risk for heart attacks.
- Monitor your blood pressure and keep it under control. High blood pressure often shows no symptoms, so it’s important to have it checked on a regular basis.
- Measure your cholesterol at maintain it at healthy levels. Your health provider should check this at least once every five years.
- Know your family history – You may not be able to change it, but knowing your history can give you valuable information about your risk for heart disease.
- Lose weight – To determine if you are at a healthy weight, try this BMI calculator or visit your doctor.
- Stay active – Physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight and lower your blood pressure and cholesterol. Just 30 minutes of exercise per day can make a difference.
- Eat healthy – Choosing healthy food options can help you avoid heart disease. Eat a diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables. A diet low in saturated and trans fat and cholesterol and high in fiber can lower cholesterol, and limiting salt can lower high blood pressure.
- Take your medicine – If you’re currently taking medicine to treat high blood pressure, cholesterol, or diabetes, it’s important that you follow your doctor’s orders.
Let us know what you’re doing for your heart health!
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