February is American Heart Month

The month of February brings to mind images of red paper hearts, tiny heart-shaped candies, and red roses. But there is another reason to think red during February – American Heart Month! Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women, causing an alarming 1 in 4 deaths. This month, take the time to focus on preventing heart disease with our heart-healthy tips.

Know your blood pressure:

This is one of the easiest tasks to complete when preventing heart disease. It’s important to schedule regular check-ups with your primary physician even if you’re not sick. You can also just take a few minutes out of your grocery shopping to stop and use the free blood pressure cuff at the store (normally located by the pharmacy)!

Exercise Regularly:

Many people complain about not having the time to exercise but the recommended amount of exercise per week is only 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity. That’s only 20 minutes of moderate exercise a day! Start off the month by walking 15 minutes at a time, several days a week. By mid-month, increase to 30 minutes.

Quit Smoking:

Smoking alone can increase the risk of coronary heart disease. If smoking is paired with high blood pressure, a sedentary lifestyle, and other factors, the risk is only increased.

Eat Healthy:

Many Americans are missing the proper amount of fruits and vegetables. Try cooking healthy meals at home by using less sodium. MyPlate.gov recommends making half of your plate consist entirely of fruits and vegetables. The other half can be made up of protein and grains. This is an easy visualization to help keep you on track with each meal.

The good news is that heart disease is one of the most preventable causes of death. Making heart-healthy choices and having regular check-ups can reduce your risk for heart disease. Make a difference by following these tips and encouraging your loved ones to do the same.

Please click here to view the February Wellness Newsletter. 

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