February isn’t just a time for roses and candy hearts; it’s also a time when we need to focus on our own hearts. February is National Heart Health month, and it’s a time when we need to be reminded about the importance of cardiac care. Heart disease remains to be the number one cause of death for both men and women in the United States. Roughly 720,000 people in the United States suffer from heart attacks each year.
Reduce your risk
Many of us already know the steps we should take to adapt to a healthier lifestyle, but it’s always good to get a refresher. To minimize our risk of developing cardiovascular disease, it is recommended that we take these steps:
- Exercise for at least 30 minutes five days a week or more
- Maintain a healthy weight range and BMI
- Avoid smoking, excessive drinking and recreational drug use (if otherwise, enroll in 30 day treatments posthaste)
- Adopt a diet that is low in sodium and saturated fats
- Take vitamins and supplements such as fish oil
Know your numbers
It’s also important to take preventative measures and understand your numbers. This February, take time to check your cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar to see if you are at risk for developing heart disease. Checking your blood pressure every month is one of the easiest ways to keep track of your health.
So if you’ve been putting off that annual physical with your physician or swapping out your carbohydrate loaded lunch with a salad, use National Heart Month as reminder that it’s time we start taking care of our hearts with a healthier lifestyle.