The perfect gift this Valentine’s Day is the gift of heart health. Along with Valentine’s Day, February marks American Heart Month, a great time to commit to a healthy lifestyle and make small changes that can lead to a lifetime of heart health.
According to the Center for Disease Control, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women. That’s why this February, during American Heart Month, FirstLight Home Care – South Sound in Olympia is encouraging men to take charge of their health and start one new, heart-healthy behavior that can help reduce their risk of heart disease and stroke.
Small Changes Can Make a Big Difference
Men can make a big difference in their heart health by taking these small steps during the month of February and beyond:
- Schedule a visit with your doctor to talk about heart health. It’s important to schedule regular check-ups even if you think you are not sick. Partner with your doctor and health care team to set goals for improving your heart health, and don’t be afraid to ask questions and trust their advice.
- Add exercise to your daily routine. Start off the month by walking 15 minutes, 3 times each week. By mid-month, increase your time to 30 minutes, 3 times each week.
- Increase healthy eating. Cook heart-healthy meals at home at least 3 times each week and make your favorite recipe lower sodium. For example, swap out salt for fresh or dried herbs and spices.
- Take steps to quit smoking. If you currently smoke, quitting can cut your risk for heart disease and stroke. Learn more at the CDC’s Smoking and Tobacco Use website.
- Take medication as prescribed. Talk with your doctor about the importance of high blood pressure and cholesterol medications. If you’re having trouble taking your medicines on time or if you’re having side effects, ask your doctor for help.
Strong men put their health first. Simple changes, such as taking medication as prescribed, eating healthy, getting regular exercise, and quitting smoking, can make a big difference in improving your health. Be strong! Talk to your health care professionals, learn about heart health and share what you know with your friends, neighbors and loved ones.
Source: Center for Disease Control