February is American Heart Month
By Lu Ann Presser
February is Heart Month and a perfect time to evaluate your life style. Heart disease and stroke are major threats to your health.In the United States, heart disease is the number one cause of death among men and women.
There are steps you can take to lower your risks:
• Know your blood pressure and if it is high, consult your physician. Keeping your blood pressure at an acceptable level can prevent many heart problems.
•Eat a healthy diet and control your weight. Your diet can help prevent high LDL cholesterol, the bad cholesterol that causes build-up in your arteries. If you are a diabetic, monitoring your glucose levels and controlling carbohydrate intake is essential. People with diabetes run a greater risk of developing heart disease.
•Stop smoking. Nicotine and carbon monoxide, two chemicals found in cigarettes, hurt your arteries. They also damage your lungs.
•Exercise. How many times have we heard this? That doesn’t mean you have to go to a gym. It can be as simple as taking a walk or using the stairs, but your goal should be 30 minutes of activity per day.
•Learn to relax. Relaxing and enjoying good times with friends and family will help control your stress levels.
It’s the beginning of a New Year. What a perfect time to implement some or all of these ideas; of course, you’ll want to consult with your physician. In a short time, you’ll be amazed how much better you’ll feel.