American Heart Month
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. Since February is American Heart Month, this is an ideal time to reflect on how well you are taking care of your body and your heart. High blood pressure and high cholesterol are two of the major risk factors for heart disease. Although some factors are out of your control, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk. You are never too old- or too young- to take care of your heart.
There are several things you can do to prevent high blood pressure. Maintaining a healthy weight by incorporating good nutrition and physical activity habits is key. Being overweight can significantly raise your blood pressure. It is also important to avoid high levels of sodium, smoking, alcohol and stress.
To prevent high cholesterol, eat a healthy diet that includes a variety of fruits of vegetables, and is low in cholesterol and saturated fats. Also, get plenty of physical activity. A minimum of 30 minutes most days of the week is recommended.
See your doctor regularly, especially if you are at risk for these conditions or have already been diagnosed. Know your numbers and pay attention to your body. Start taking small steps every day to improve your heart health.