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American Heart Month: 6 Tips for Heart-Healthy Living

Posted by August on Feb 1, 2024 2:01:30 PM

February is American Heart Month, a perfect reminder for everyone to check in on our cardiovascular health. Especially women, as heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 deaths among women each year – more than all cancers combined. 

In honor of American Heart Month, Carolina Trust employees are participating in National Wear Red Day (February 2nd) to help raise awareness for cardiovascular diseases. In addition to raising awareness, I wanted to share a few heart-healthy lifestyle changes, suggested by the Mayo Clinic Health Systems, that you can take as preventative measures.

Avoid tobacco

If you currently smoke, chew tobacco, vape, or use other tobacco products, quit right away — your health care team can help. If you don't smoke now, keep it that way.

Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all.

Heavy alcohol use is detrimental to your heart health. Although some research indicates moderate consumption of certain alcoholic beverages may have positive health effects, limiting your intake to a maximum of one drink per day or abstaining from alcohol altogether is best.

Be active

Try to do aerobic exercise for at least 20 to 30 minutes a day, three to five times per week. Work your way up to 150 minutes of cardio each week. Get your heart rate up by a simple activity like walking at a brisk pace. Your daily movement doesn't need to be overly strenuous.

Maintain a healthy weight

Like your checkbook, your weight is a matter of deposits and withdrawals. You need to exercise regularly and lower portion sizes and calorie intake at meals to lose weight or maintain a healthy size. Simply put, to lose weight you must burn more calories than you consume.

Eat a nutritious diet

Healthy and fresh food choices — such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes — lower your risk of obesity, heart disease and diabetes, as well as make you feel better than when you eat processed and junk food. Learn about key elements of a heart-healthy diet.

Control your risk factors

Get physical examinations or checkups at least yearly. Doing so will help you monitor health conditions and allow your provider to examine you for high blood pressure (hypertension), high cholesterol and diabetes. If you have these conditions, talk to your health care team about medicines and lifestyle changes to help you control them, which will lower your risk for heart disease.

This blog provides general information and discussions about health and related subjects. The information and other content provided in this blog, website or in any linked materials are not intended and should not be considered, or used as a substitute for, medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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