Take Care of Your Ticker

Did you know that February is American Heart Month? It’s a perfect excuse to take a minute to think about your heart health and take a few small steps toward improving it.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the leading cause of death for individuals in the United States, accounting for approximately 600,000 deaths annually. Each year, approximately 935,000 Americans suffer from a heart attack and for 325,000, it’s not their first.

There are three major risk factors for heart disease: high blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol and smoking. The CDC reports that half of all Americans have at least one of these three risk factors.

However, new research has found that some outside factors can also contribute to poor heart health, including:

  • The noise level in your neighborhood
  • How well you sleep
  • How early you start practicing good habits
  • Your work life
  • What season it is (heart attacks are more common in winter)

Conventional wisdom provides some great starting points for increasing your heart health, including:

  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Exercise regularly
  • Monitor your blood pressure
  • Don’t smoke
  • Limit your alcohol intake
  • Have your cholesterol checked
  • Manage your sugar intake

Luckily there is good news: heart disease is both preventable and controllable. Share these tips and facts with family and friends in honor of American Heart Month, and leave us a comment with other tips to keep your ticker in top shape.

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