Take Action Against Heart Disease: American Heart Month 2020
Since 1963, February has been designated as American Heart Month, a month calling for Americans to join the battle against heart disease.
Heart disease doesn’t just happen to men or older adults, it’s happening to women and younger adults more frequently. Historically, heart disease is the number one cause of death among both men and women in the United States, taking approximately 630,000 lives each year. On top of that, half of all Americans have at least one of the top three risk factors for heart disease (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking).
Consider making these important lifestyle changes now to help your heart later on:
1. Keep a Healthy Weight
Overweight or obese people have a higher risk for heart disease.
Carrying extra weight will put added stress on the heart and blood vessels.
2. Maintain Regular Physical Activity
Adults should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week, while children and adolescents 60 minutes each day.
Maintaining regular physical activity can help maintain a healthy weight, lower blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood sugar levels.
3. Choose “Heart Healthy” Food and Drinks
Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, making them a component of at least half of your plate.
Make a choice to eat foods low in saturated fats, trans fat, added sugar, and sodium.
Drink alcohol in moderation- Men should have no more than two drinks per day, and women no more than one.
4. Don’t Smoke or Aim to Quit
Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States.
Quitting smoking will improve overall general health as well as lung and heart health.
5. Manage existing conditions
Work with your healthcare team to manage conditions like high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Consistently take blood pressure/cholesterol medications that were prescribed.