AMERICAN HEART MONTH

Let me start by saying heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women.  1 in 4 deaths is caused by heart disease.  We can use this month to raise awareness about heart disease and how people can prevent it — both at home and in the community.  Recently, the knowledge of this came very close to home when my mom suffered a heart attack resulting in her undergoing open heart surgery with a triple bypass.  Thankfully, she made it through the surgery and continues in the recovery process.  Not everyone will be as fortunate as my mom, and this is why it is important to know the facts and what can help keep your heart healthy and avoid surgical intervention.
 
The good news is there are strategies to help us live heart healthy lives well into our later years      Encourage families to make small changes, like using spices to season their food instead of salt.
Stay active by finding ways to include some exercise in your daily routine  .Aim for 30 minutes daily and break it up into 10 minute increments if necessary i.e.; take a walk after you eat a meal.The heart is a muscle and it needs exercise.
Did you know? You need to get your blood pressure checked every 2 years starting at age 18. Learn why: http://1.usa.gov/mRFcKh.
 Ask me for a blood pressure check and I will be happy to oblige.
Are you a woman over age 55? Talk to your doctor about taking aspirin to reduce your risk of stroke: http://1.usa.gov/jnchQM
Monitor your cholesterol levels yearly - annual wellness exam or health fair are good options.
Abstain from smoking.  Find a support group to help you quit.
 
February 6 is “Go Red Day” for women.  It is also my mom’s birthday.  This year I’ll be wearing red and celebrating another year with  her on her special day with a greater awareness that if you take care of your heart, it will take care of you.
 

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