Take Heart! February is American Heart Month

Take control of your heart this heart day!
Take control of your heart this heart day!
Did you know heart disease is the number one killer of men and women in the United States? Approximately 600,000 Americans die from heart disease every year. “Heart disease” is actually made up of a number of conditions including coronary artery disease in which plaque deposits form in the arteries interfering with blood flow to the heart.  Coronary heart disease can lead to angina, arrhythmias, heart attack, and heart failure.  This year alone, more than 715,000 of us will have a heart attack.

Did you also know heart disease can be prevented (if you don’t already have it) and controlled (if you do)? It’s not all that hard to do if you follow these guidelines from the Center for Disease Control:

Don’t pass the salt! On average, Americans consume over 3,500 milligrams of sodium a day. Current dietary guidelines recommend adults in general should consume no more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day. Adequate intake of sodium is considered 1,500 milligrams a day.

Get off your butt: Get moving! Physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight and lower cholesterol and blood pressure. The Surgeon General recommends adults engage in moderate-intensity exercise for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week.

 Get off your butt remix: Quit smoking! Cigarette smoking greatly increases your risk for heart disease. If you don't smoke, don't start. If you do smoke, quit as soon as possible. Your doctor can suggest ways to help you quit.

Eat a healthy diet. Be sure to eat your fruits and vegetables—adults should have at least 5 servings each day. Eating foods low in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol and high in fiber can help prevent high cholesterol.

This Valentine’s Day why not give yourself the gift of a healthy heart? A few small changes can make a big difference.



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