Healthy Hearts

The month of February has been declared as American Heart Month to raise awareness for all cardiovascular diseases including heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure.

In the United States, someone has a heart attack every 34 seconds. So, how does your heart rate (pun intended)? Find out by assessing your lifestyle. Healthy lifestyles play a big part in reducing your risk of heart disease, so ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I smoke, and if so, how do I stop? 
  • What eating habits do I need to change? 
  • Am I including physical activity in my daily routine? 
  • How can I be more relaxed? 
  • Do I need medication to reduce my heart attack risk?

Heart diseases are the number one killer of men and women in the United States, according to the American Heart Association. The good news? Heart disease can often be prevented when people make healthy choices and manage their health conditions. Some tips for reducing your risk includes:

  • Know and review your risk factors (i.e. family history) with your physician. 
  • Get active – walking or doing moderate exercise activity for at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week, or more vigorous workouts at least 20 minutes a day, three times a week, is recommended for the average adult. 
  • Adopt a diet low in salt, saturated and transfats and high in unsaturated fats (fish, avocado, etc.) like the Mediterranean Diet.
  • Limited alcoholic beverage consumption
  • Avoid smoking and recreational drug use.

The first Friday in February is known as National Wear Red Day®. Support this movement by putting on your favorite red dress, red shirt, or red tie. For more information on heart disease, visit the Heart Foundation website.

Other Sources: US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) National Institutes of Health (NIH)

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