February is American Heart Month
Thursday, February 1, 2018
February is American Heart Month, a time to raise awareness about the importance of keeping your heart healthy.
If you take nothing else away from Heart Month, remember this:
Everyone is at risk for heart disease. Everyone.
That said, there’s plenty you can do to try to prevent heart disease. Take these seven steps:
1. Eat healthy
2. Be active
3. Maintain a healthy weight
4. Quit smoking (and avoid second-hand smoke)
5. Keep your cholesterol and blood pressure under control
6. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation
7. Manage stress
“When you’re active – which by itself is good for your heart – you accomplish some of the other good things on that list,” Witmer says.
“Being active helps you maintain a healthy weight. Being active helps manage stress. Being active also can help ensure proper cholesterol levels and can lower your blood pressure.”
Being active is important for everyone, especially for those with a higher risk of heart disease.
That group includes sedentary, overweight or obese people; those who don’t eat right, those who smoke or those who have high cholesterol or high blood pressure.
Other groups with higher risks of heart disease are men over 45, women over 55, people who’ve had a father or brother with heart disease before age 55 or people who’ve had a mother or sister with heart disease before age 65.
William Witmer, MD, is a Board Certified fellowship trained interventional cardiologist. He has completed a fellowship in interventional cardiology from the Medical Center Hospital of Vermont, and has special interests in coronary artery disease and nuclear cardiology. Learn more here.