Thanks to a proclamation by President Lyndon Johnson, American's recognize February as Heart Health Month.
It's estimated that 11.6 million Americans have heart valve disease and someone in the United States has a heart attack every 40 seconds and a cardiac arrest every 90 seconds.
Every February, the spotlight is focused on heart disease in the hopes of bringing awareness and sharing steps to help prevent heart disease. Heart disease is the leading cause of death around the world but there are things that can be done to help prevent the onset of the disease. Here are three tips for preserving your heart health.
Cut the cigarettes and drink alcohol in moderation:
Smoking damages blood vessels and reduces oxygen supply to the heart, which makes it a major risk factor for heart disease. If you are a smoker, quitting is the first thing you can do to greatly reduce your risk of heart disease. Excessive alcohol consumption can also increase your chances of developing heart disease because it can cause high blood pressure, irregular heart rate and cardiomyopathy.
Always check with your primary care physician prior to undertaking an exercise program but simply taking a brisk walk every day can help to lower your risk of heart disease. Talk to your doctor to find out the best fit for you.
Eat healthy foods:
A diet that's focused on heart healthy foods is a great step in managing your heart health. Select fresh fruits and colorful vegetables, lean proteins and healthy, saturated fats. Salmon and nuts are both rich in heart healthy, Omega-3s and have been found to have a positive effect on cardiovascular health.
So take the steps to be proactive about your heart health and start by getting a physical exam to evaluate your risk for heart disease. You can find more information about heart disease by visiting the American Heart Association website.