American Heart Month

If you feel like your heart is making a weird pitter-patter or skipping a beat this Valentine’s Day, you may have been struck by Cupid’s arrow—or it may also be time to get your heart health in check. Along with Valentine’s, February is also American Heart Month, the perfect time to raise awareness about the importance of taking good care of our heart.

As the center of your cardiovascular system, the heart is probably the most hardworking muscle in the body. It is primarily responsible for just about everything that gives your body life. However, what you eat and the amount of activity you do every day can significantly affect the overall health of your heart. In the United States alone, there are about 27.6 million adults who are diagnosed with heart disease, making it the leading cause of death in the country.

What You Can Do for Your Heart

The good news is heart disease can be prevented with a few healthy lifestyle choices and managing your health condition.

Here are some small changes you can make for your heart this month:

  • Add exercise to your everyday routine- A full 30-minute of physical activity each day can go a long way for your heart health. Start by taking leisure walks throughout the day. You can break it up with a 10-minute walk, 3 times a day or a 15-minute walk, twice a day. Gradually increase the intensity by adding cardio variation or some lifting.
  • Choose a healthy diet- Limit your intake of foods that are high in saturated or trans fat such as fast food and processed food. Instead, choose food items that are low in fat and packed with fiber and Omega-3 fatty acids. You may also want to increase fruit and vegetable intake.
  • Kick your smoking habit- Smoking can damage the lining of your arteries, increasing your risk of heart attack or a stroke. Take steps to quit smoking, whether by yourself or through a support group. This can benefit not only your heart but your overall health as well.
  • Schedule a visit with your doctor- Get regular check-ups with your doctor even if you are not feeling sick. Ask about ways of improving your heart health, especially if you have a medical history of heart disease. Your doctor can give you plenty of advice and may even avoid future health roadblocks.

Make February a truly happy hearts’ day by taking these simple steps towards a healthy heart and encouraging your family, your friends, and even your whole community to commit to a healthy lifestyle.

This article contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. The information is not intended to replace the advice or diagnosis of a physician. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare providers.