Did you know heart disease is the number one cause of death for both men and women in the United States? To put this in perspective, it is the cause of one in every four deaths.1 In effort to bring awareness to these staggering statistics, the American Heart Association has named February American Heart Month. Though we should be conscious of our heart health year round, use this month as a chance to practice healthy habits for you and your loved ones.
Contributing risk factors for developing heart disease include high blood pressure, physical inactivity, obesity and poor diet. 2 Fortunately, you can start today to reduce your risk by making small lifestyle changes, including:
Daily Exercise. The CDC recommends 150 minutes of exercise each week.3 Though this may seem intimidating, there are endless ways to incorporate exercise into your day. For example, instead of sitting while watching television or talking on the phone, get up and move! Jumping jacks, marching in place, squats, arm circles, planks—they all can be done throughout the day.
Healthy Eating Habits. We all have our favorite comfort foods that seem to call our name as we walk past the pantry—chips, cookies, chocolate, etc. But, it’s important to remember to eat these foods in moderation. Try incorporating more heart healthy foods into your diet each day, like almonds, apples, beans, blueberries and fish. These foods are considered heart healthy because they contain antioxidants, cholesterol-lowering agents, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, all which benefit the heart.4
Encourage Loved Ones. If you’re still pondering ideas for your loved ones on Valentine’s Day, what better way to show some extra love than expressing the seriousness of healthy living habits to prevent heart disease. Eating healthy and exercising does not have to be miserable, in fact, it can be a fun challenge between you and your loved ones. For example, try making it into a competition or a team effort! This way you have someone to hold you accountable and encourage you along the way.
At Live Your Life we are committed to helping you reach your goals. Whether you want to improve your eating habits or start an exercise program, we are here to help. Give us a call today at (612) 568-5506 to get started on your way to healthy living.
Live Your Life HEALTHY!
Dr. Eva Norman
President & Founder
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Live Your LifeTM
Bringing Physical Therapy & Wellness to You!
1 American Heart Month. https://healthfinder.gov/nho/FebruaryToolkit.asp. Accessed on January 31, 2017.
2American Heart Month 2017: Change Starts with a Heart-to-Heart. https://millionhearts.hhs.gov/news-media/events/heart-month.html. Accessed on January 31, 2017.
3How Much Physical Activity do Older Adults Need? https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/older_adults/index.htm. Accessed on January 31, 2017.
45 Heart Healthy Foods. http://www.active.com/nutrition/articles/5-heart-healthy-foods-879001. Accessed on January 31, 2017.