American Heart Month is observed every February to raise awareness about heart health and encourage people to adopt heart-healthy lifestyles. Heart disease is a leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women, but the good news is that you can do a lot to protect your heart and stay healthy. The first step towards heart health is understanding your risk for heart disease. Risk factors can be different for each person, and knowing what your risk factors are and what you can do to lower them is a good place to start.
The following are major risks for heart disease:
- physical inactivity
- high blood pressure
- high cholesterol
- being overweight
Your healthcare provider can be an important partner in helping you set and reach goals for heart health. Don’t be afraid to ask about your risk for heart disease at your annual checkups. If you are already being treated for heart disease and/or its risk factors, your doctor can discuss treatment plans with you.
Remember the good news that I was talking about? By taking preventive measures, you can help to lower your risk of developing heart disease while also improving your overall health and well-being.
Take a look at these 10 ways to improve your heart health by the American Heart Association:
Making small, sustainable changes in your lifestyle can have a significant impact on your heart health. It’s never too early or too late for you to adopt heart-healthy habits.
Want to further help raise awareness? You can participate in National Wear Red Day® on February 2nd to bring greater attention to heart disease as a leading cause of death for Americans.
Interested in classes on nutrition, health, and wellness? Contact your local UF/IFAS Extension Family and Consumer Sciences Agent!
Sources: American Heart Association, 2024
Source: UF/IFAS Pest Alert
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