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February is American Heart Month!

Elegant Older Woman

Heart disease is the leading cause of men and women in the United States, ranking in at a staggering 1 in 4 deaths caused by heart disease each year. Luckily, heart disease can easily be prevented with healthy choices. Beginning the month of February, we’d like to kick off our blog post with the best preventative measures and heart health recommendations.

Be Aware of your Current Heart Health

Uncontrolled high blood pressure is dangerously common. It is alarming how many individuals do not check their blood pressure regularly or take medications properly when prescribed by their doctor during annual check-ups. Does high blood pressure or high cholesterol run in your family? Be proactive and prioritize heart health early in life. We can teach our loved ones so much about heart health as we learn!  

The CDC listed these as the four best ways to control your heart health:

  1. Don’t smoke: Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States.
  2. Manage conditions: Work with your health care team to manage conditions such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. This includes taking any medication you have been prescribed and following any recommended healthy habits.
  3. Make heart-healthy eating changes: Eat food low in trans-fat saturated fat, added sugar, and sodium! Prioritize eating whole foods including fruits and vegetables and avoid processed foods to keep sodium and added sugar in check.
  4. Stay Active: Get moving for at least 150 minutes per week or 30 minutes 5 days per week.

How can American Heart Month Make a Difference?

This month is about raising awareness and helping individuals across our nation prevent heart disease both at home and in our communities. Here’s how you can make a difference:

  • Encourage families to make small changes, as simple as using spices instead of salt.
  • Motivate your loved ones to be physically active, take them on a walk or invite them to a group fitness class on Saturday mornings.
  • Ask doctors and nurses to be leaders in their communities by speaking out about ways to prevent heart disease.
  • Communities: Add information about living a heart-healthy lifestyle to your monthly newsletter.
  • Post about American Heart Month on social media.
  • Host a heart-healthy cooking class with your friends!
  • Spread the word!
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