Health Watch: American Heart Month
Stay heart healthy all month long!
February is American Heart Month. Every year, heart disease remains among the top killers of Americans. From strokes to heart attacks and even high blood pressure, the CDC and Million Hearts want to use American Heart Month to reduce the number of heart related deaths by preventing 1 million heart attacks by 2017.
How does your heart health stack up? Chances are you could benefit from a few lifestyle changes. Check out these ways that you can reduce your risk for heart disease.
- Change your diet. When your mother warned you that ‘you are what you eat’, she wasn’t too far off. What you consume is fuel for your body. So if you eat fatty foods that increase your cholesterol, you’re likely increasing your risk for heart disease. If you eat more fruits and veggies, you’ll likely have more energy to stay active. Plus, the healthier you eat, the lower your weight tends to be which helps to reduce your risk for heart disease.
- Stay active. Go for a run, sign up for a fitness class, or even take a walk. The more your move the healthier you’ll be. Far too many of us spend our days sitting, but a sedentary lifestyle increases your risk for all sorts of health issues, including heart disease. Get your blood pumping, strengthen your heart muscle, and fight heart disease by exercising for at least 30 minutes five times per week.
- Kick your bad habits. Drinking and smoking increase your risk for heart disease. Try to quit smoking and reduce your daily alcohol intake to one drink for women and two drinks of men.
- Keep your blood pressure under control. Blood pressure can be helpful in indicating risk for stroke and heart attack. Make sure to talk to your doctor about your heart health.
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