Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and hearts are everywhere—on cards, on clothing, on TV, and many other places. That makes right now the perfect time to mention that February is National Heart Disease Awareness Month. Heart disease is a real concern that impacts millions of Americans.
Here are the facts: heart disease is the No. 1 killer of both men and women, causing approximately 1 in 4 deaths every year. This equates to about one person every minute!
High blood pressure, smoking, and obesity are still the key risk factors for heart disease. According to the new guidelines released in November by the American Heart Association, there are ways to reduce your risk for heart disease through lifestyle modifications.
To reduce your risk, you should:
- Aim for 40 minutes of exercise 3-4 days a week
- Eat lots of fruit and veggies
- Work to reduce sodium intake
Remember, you should always consult with your physician prior to taking part in any new fitness routine. If you think that doing a lot of exercise is simply too daunting, just keep in mind that doing a little bit of exercise is better than doing nothing at all.
A lot of organizations offer information and support for your heart. If you are at risk for or have heart disease, you can find out more about exercising, how your family history might affect you, and more in our online Health Center. Here’s to your heart health!