Matters of the Heart
It’s February, and while many think of hearts in regards to Valentine’s Day, it’s also Heart Health Awareness Month. With the success of the AHA’s Go Red for Women Campaign and The Red Dress Collection during New York Fashion Week, more awareness is being raised about heart disease being the number one killer of women AND men. Even celebrities such as Toni Braxton and Star Jones have dealt with the effects of the devastating disease. Unfortunately, there are some factors that you cannot change when it comes to reducing your risk of a heart attack or stroke, such as age, sex, race (African Americans have greater risks) and family history. BUT there are some steps that are in your control to help reduce your risk of a cardiac-related event.
- Quit smoking
- Monitor and lower high cholesterol
- Eat a healthy balanced diet (reduce or eliminate fried, fatty and salty foods)
- Lower high blood pressure
- Lose weight or maintain healthy weight
- Manage diabetes
- Reduce stress
- Limit alcohol
Yes, we all dread going to the doctor, and some of us have to be on our last leg before we go, but it’s advised that everyone have regular annual check-ups. (men, that means you too.) They say what you don’t know can’t hurt you, but in this case what you don’t know can kill you. If you don’t do it for yourself, do it for your loved ones. In return you are giving those you love the greatest gift of all-more time with YOU!