February is American Heart Month
Did you know that Heart Disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States? Nearly half of Americans have at least one risk factor for heart disease, such as high blood pressure, obesity, physical inactivity or an unhealthy diet.
If we work together, we can reduce the risk of heart disease by making lifestyle changes and managing medical conditions. Some tips to follow are:
- Quit smoking. People that smoke are more than twice as likely to have a heart attack, compared to nonsmokers.
- Improve cholesterol. Your doctor will help you determine the safe zone for your HDL and LDL cholesterol, but there are things you can do at home too. Eat a diet low in cholesterol, saturated fat and refined sugars and high in fiber.
- Monitor blood pressure. The most common heart disease factor is high blood pressure. Exercise and health eating will aid in lower blood pressure. You might need medicine to control your blood pressure too. Contact your doctor for more information.
- Exercise. Start moving! Go for a walk, start a new exercise program, ride your bike, etc.
- Diet. Aim to eat foods that are low in fat and cholesterol. Start by eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and other plant-based foods.
- Manage stress. It’s normal to have stress, but if it happens a lot, it may be time to take a step back.
For more information on Heart Disease, visit the American Heart Association. As always, any medical questions or concerns, contact your doctor.