February is American Heart Month

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Heart Health

Heart Health

February is American Heart Month–This makes the month a great time to start working on developing habits to keep your heart healthy and strong! In fact, Friday February 4th is Wear Red Day, so don your red clothing in support of women’s heart health!

Heart healthy eating and regular physical activity is the key to lowering your risk of heart disease and stroke.

Just this week, new research has been released that is encouraging for those with high genetic risk scores for heart disease. The research, released in the American Heart Association Journal, Circulation shows that people who adhered to 7 lifestyle modifications, known as Life’s Simple 7 could dramatically lower their risk of heart disease. In fact, it could mean as many as 20 extra years of living without heart disease!

It is the hope of the American Heart Association that these numbers encourage many Americans to change their behaviors and improve their health.

What are these 7 lifestyle changes, you ask? They include the following (from My life Check:  Life’s Simple 7, www.heart.org):

  1. Manage Blood Pressure

High Blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. When your blood pressure stays within healthy ranges, you reduce the strain on your heart, arteries, and kidneys which keeps you healthier longer.

  1. Control Cholesterol

High cholesterol contributes to plaque, which can clog arteries and lead to heart disease and stroke. When you control your cholesterol, you are giving your arteries their best chance to remain clear of blockages.

  1. Reduce Blood Sugar

Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose or blood sugar that our bodies use for energy. Over time, high levels of blood sugar can damage your heart, kidneys, eyes and nerves.

  1. Get Active

Living an active life is one of the most rewarding gifts you can give yourself and those you love. Simply put, daily physical activity increases your length and quality of life.

  1. Eat Better

A healthy diet is one of your best weapons for fighting cardiovascular disease. When you eat a heart-healthy diet, you improve your chances for feeling good and staying healthy – for life!

  1. Lose Weight

When you shed extra fat and unnecessary pounds, you reduce the burden on your heart, lungs, blood vessels and skeleton. You give yourself the gift of active living, you lower your blood pressure and you help yourself feel better, too.

  1. Stop Smoking

Cigarette smokers have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease. If you smoke, quitting is the best thing you can do for your health.

Show yourself some love in 2022 and make some healthy changes that will improve your health. Make a point to discuss your plans with your physician who may suggest you meet with a nutritionist or fitness coach for the latest information, which can help you achieve your goals. You only live once, so do what it takes to live it to the fullest.