Heart Health Tips for American Heart Month

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Did you know that in the US, heart disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women?

But, fear not! There are many ways that you can be as "heart healthy" as possible. Take time to incorporate these steps into your lifestyle to lower your risk of heart disease!

1. Choose not to smoke or quit smoking. Avoiding cigarettes and other tobacco products can help keep your health good and blood vessels working properly! Smoking is one of the top controllable risk factors for heart disease. Plus, quitting smoking will be great for not only your heart, but your overall health as well.

2. Maintain a healthy weight. Consult your doctor before introducing any weight loss or gain plans into your lifestyle

3. Get active - Aerobic exercise, resistance/strength training, & flexibility workouts contribute to good heart health. Dancing is a wonderful example of a heart-healthy workout, as it gets your heart rate up and gets your lungs pumping! Consider signing up for a workout class near you to encourage more exercise in your routine.

4. Establish healthy eating patterns - whole grains, healthy fats (such as salmon & avocado), and leafy greens are great for your heart! Specifically Omega-3 fats are proven to be great foods for warding off heart disease.

5. Control & monitor your blood pressure and cholesterol. Don't skip your annual physical! High blood pressure and cholesterol levels can increase the risk of heart disease. These conditions should be controlled and monitored closely.

6. Drink only in moderation. Reducing alcohol consumption is another way to increase heart health and decrease the risk of heart disease.

7. Control stress - read our stress reduction tips here! There are many ways to reduce and control stress levels, including taking a nature walk, listening to soothing music, or reading a book.

8. Reduce your salt intake. Half a teaspoon a day of salt is a great goal to shoot for.