• Love Your Heart

    Valentine’s Day has come and gone and so has all that chocolate…hopefully! Did you know that Americans purchase around 58 million pounds of chocolate during this time?1 So is it ironic that February is also American Heart Month or just good timing? Either way, now that those heart shaped boxes have come and gone, there’s no better time to take a moment and make sure you’re doing what you can to take care of your heart. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “cardiovascular disease (CVD)—including heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure—is the number 1 killer of women and men in the United States. It is a leading cause of disability, preventing Americans from working and enjoying family activities.”2

     

    Although race and ethnicity also affect your risks, healthier habits could prevent many CVD deaths and it’s important to know your risk factors. The CDC lists the following ten strategies for better heart health. For a more detailed definition of each, visit their heart month page here.

     

    1. Work with your health care team
    2. Monitor your blood pressure
    3. Get your cholesterol checked
    4. Eat a healthy diet
    5. Maintain a healthy weight
    6. Exercise regularly
    7. Don’t smoke
    8. Limit alcohol use
    9. Manage your diabetes
    10. Take your medicine

     

    There are many ways to manage your heart health. From lowering your cholesterol with therapeutic lifestyle changes to controlling high blood pressure without medication, it’s all about finding what works for you. And according to Dr. Richard Becker, director of the University of Cincinnati Cardiovascular Institute, “there are plenty of small changes you can make in your day that can have a big impact on your heart health.”3 In fact, ABC News online complied seven of them, including eating breakfast and getting enough sleep. Check out the full list here.

     

    Resources:

    1 http://www.eastcobber.com/how-much-chocolate-is-eaten-on-valentines-day

    2 http://www.cdc.gov/features/heartmonth/

    3 http://abcnews.go.com/Health/heart-healthy-habits-now/story?id=22554990#

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