Tips for a Healthy Heart
Video by Michaela Parker
Did you know February is Heart Health Month? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that around 647,000 Americans die from heart disease each year. That’s one in every four deaths!
In Extension, we’re here to provide you with research-based information to help you and your heart stay in great shape. When it comes to cardiovascular disease, there are some risk factors you can control, and others you can’t. Here are some ways to give your heart some love!
- Diet: Choose heart-healthy foods like lean meat, low-fat dairy products, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Be sure to limit fats, including fried foods!
- Weight: Extra pounds mean extra work on your heart, so try to reach and maintain a healthy weight.
- Alcohol use: Consume alcohol in moderation. The best rule of thumb is one drink per day for women and two for men.
- Physical inactivity: Get moving! Regular exercise helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, as well as other risk factors. Set a goal to spend 30 to 60 minutes engaged in physical activity most days of the week.
- Stress: Handling stress poorly causes stress to your heart. To help lessen stress in your life, set realistic goals and reject excessive demands. You can also try relaxation, meditation, exercise, and breathing techniques to help you deal with everyday stress.
- Smoking: Did you know smoking more than doubles the risk of heart attack? If you smoke, get the help you need to quit!
Extension information sheet, “Becoming Physically Active” is a great resource to help you get moving! For healthy recipes and tips, the Food Factor is your go-to place! Be sure to check it out on Facebook and Twitter.
If you’d like to learn more about the risk factors for heart disease, check out Extension information sheet, “A Healthy Heart.”
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