Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Protect Your Heart in February

February is American Heart Month.  During this month, I will be sharing information to help you keep your heart healthy.  When discussing heart health and prevention of heath disease we are also looking at reducing atherosclerosis, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and a heart attack.   Research shows that prevention comes down to two things: exercise and a healthful eating pattern.

  • According to the AHA, Being physically active is also important to prevent heart disease and stroke. Just 40 minutes of aerobic exercise three to four times a week is enough to lower both cholesterol and high blood pressure.
  • Talk with your doctor about what kinds of physical activity are right for you. Remember, it's wise to start slowly and work steadily. This will help you stick to your new program while reducing your risk of injury.
  • To get you thinking about new and fun ways to exercise, consider walking with friends or family, taking an exercise class, trying yoga, swimming, taking a bike ride, or going for a jog.
  • The American Heart Association maintains, "A healthy diet is one of the best weapons you have to fight cardiovascular disease. The food you eat (and the amount) can affect other controllable risk factors."
  • You can create a personalized diet plan with your doctor or nutritionist, but the broad strokes of a heart-healthy diet include fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, lean protein, and limited amounts of sodium, saturated fat, and added sugars.
  • The National Heart Blood and Lung Institute's TLC diet or DASH diet may also help you prevent heart disease by lowering various heart disease risk factors.

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