February Is National Heart Month
Are you taking care of your heart? National trends show heart disease death rates are declining more slowly than they have in the past especially among age groups 35-64. In many communities, the rates are even increasing. Not only are more young adults dying, but their risk factors, such as physicial inactivity, tobacco use and hypertension are also increasing.
You can help yourself by taking care of your heart and encouraging those you love to do the same. No one is immune to heart disease and you can reduce your risk at any age by following some easy, common sense tips:
- Find time to be active. Aim for at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week. Invite fitness buddies on an afternoon stroll, try an exercise class, or take your family on a walk after dinner with your dog. Fido needs activity, too!
- Make healthy eating a habit. Small changes in your eating habits can make a big difference. Try making healthier versions of your favorite recipes. How? An easy start is to decrease the amount of salt and increase fresh or dried herbs for flavor, use olive oil instead of butter and add more fruits and vegetables.
- Quit tobacco—for good. Smoking cigarettes and using other tobacco products affects nearly every organ in your body, especially your heart. Quitting can be tough, but it can be easier when you feel supported. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) today. Allcare Health also sponsors smoking cessation classes free for everyone!
- Know your numbers. High blood pressure and high cholesterol are major risk factors for heart disease. Ask your health care team to check your blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels regularly and help you take steps to control your levels.
- Stick to the ’script. Taking your medications can be tough, especially if you feel fine. But sticking with your medication routine is important for managing and controlling conditions that could put your heart at risk.