American Heart Month
The month of February, is known for highlighting some of the greatest African-American leaders of our history, and spreading hugs and kisses to everyone we love! February is probably one of the happiest months of the year! This month is also marked as American Heart month. During American Heart Month, we raise awareness on heart disease, which is the leading cause of death for men and women (with African-American men leading at a higher risk). Some heart disease risk factors are obesity, having a poor diet, physical inactivity, and diabetes. However, heart disease can be prevented if we make it our priority to take our health serious. This is the perfect time for you to make a commitment to living a healthier lifestyle, by making small changes each day. Some of us may have a friend or relative that died from heart disease, or they've had a heart attack in the past. Heart disease should not be taken lightly, and we want to avoid making this our reality, as much as possible! If you're not sure what to do, start with the steps below to build a healthy heart this month!
Spend more time in the kitchen this month, cooking healthy meals at least 3 to 4 times each week. When cooking, make sure to use less salt, and add fresh spices and herbs to your meal, to lower sodium intake.
Heart Pumpin' Exercise
Add more exercise to your day! If you're just getting started, spend about 15 to 30 minutes taking a walk, or a light jog. By the end of February, you should be able to add more time, or an extra day of exercise! If you exercise consistently, it can reduce your body weight, blood pressure, reduce the bad (LDL) cholesterol, and increase the good (HDL) cholesterol.
Heart Check Up's
Make sure you visit your doctor to have a discussion about your heart health. It's important that you know your numbers to have a better understanding of the proper steps you need to take for good heart health. I encourage everyone to visit the doctor for your annual physical, and ask questions about heart health!
Cut back on Smoking
If you take steps to quit smoking, you can lower your risk for heart disease and stroke. For more information on how to quit smoking, speak with your doctor today!