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10 Ways to Keep Your Heart Healthy During Heart Health Month

Every February, the American Heart Association (AHA) celebrates “Heart Health Month” to raise awareness about cardiovascular disease and how to prevent it. Here are 10 tips for keeping your heart healthy this month and all year long.

  1. Get moving. Exercise is one of the best things you can do for your heart health. Aim for 30 minutes of exercise at least 5 days a week; if that’s too much, start with 10 minutes and work your way up. And don't forget, even if you can't get outside, there's always indoor activities like yoga or dancing!

  2. Eat clean. A balanced diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables gives your body the nutrients it needs to stay healthy. Cut out processed foods as much as possible—try making meals from scratch!

  3. Reduce stress. Stress can have an impact on both physical and mental health, so it’s important to find ways to reduce it in your life. Take some time each day for self-care such as reading, journaling, or meditating; or seek out counseling or therapy if needed.

  4. Quit smoking . Smoking increases the risk of developing heart disease by two-fold so quitting is essential for good health! Talk to your doctor about programs and medications that may help with quitting smoking if you need assistance getting started on this journey.

  5. Monitor blood pressure regularly . Keeping track of your blood pressure levels is essential for preventing heart attacks and strokes—or catching them early should they occur—so make sure you check it at least twice a year with your physician or pharmacist during regular checkups or screenings.

  6. Get enough sleep . Sleep is essential for maintaining a healthy heart — not getting enough sleep increases the risk of high blood pressure which leads to other cardiovascular problems down the road . Make sure you're getting at least 7 hours of restful sleep each night .

  7. Monitor cholesterol levels . High cholesterol levels can increase the risk for developing coronary artery disease so make sure you're checking in with your doctor regularly about what yours are looking like . If necessary , ask about lifestyle changes or medication that might be able to help keep them low.

  8. Know family history . Knowing what kind of health issues run in your family can help alert you to potential risks that may be lurking around the corner , so make sure you're familiarizing yourself with any medical history that may be relevant before heading into appointments with doctors and nurses alike !

  9. Watch alcohol consumption . While there are some benefits associated with moderate drinking , excessive drinking can lead to increased risk of stroke , high blood pressure , arrhythmias , and congestive heart failure –– so be mindful when it comes to alcohol consumption!

  10. Visit doctor annually –– One visit per year isn't enough when it comes to monitoring cardiac health ! Make sure you're scheduling routine visits every six months (or more often as needed ) so that any little changes can be caught early on !

Taking care of our hearts is important all year round — but especially during Heart Health Month! By following these steps, we can all ensure we are doing our part in keeping ourselves healthy now and well into the future! So take those extra steps today — get moving, eat clean, reduce stress, quit smoking (if applicable), monitor blood pressure & cholesterol levels regularly, know family history, watch alcohol consumption & visit doctor annually — in orderto keep our hearts beating strong & steady each & every day!

Northeast Missouri Health Council, Partners for a lifetime of health

Medical, Dental, and Behavioral Clinics in Kirksville, Missouri, Macon, Missouri, Milan, Missouri, and Kahoka, Missouri. Visit our website to find the nearest clinic to you.



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