Is it a coincidence that American Heart Month and Valentine's day are in the same month? Maybe not. Many people have hearts on their minds as they move into February, but this month not only holds the holiday built to celebrate love but also marks American Heart Month, a time to educate and spread awareness of the importance of heart health.
According to the CDC cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke, remains the leading global cause of death in the United States.
Keeping a healthy heart is the key to continuing to have a high quality of life as we age.
Here are a few things you can do this Valentine’s day and every day to help prevent heart disease.
Choose heart-healthy foods: Choose foods that can help decrease your blood pressure like nuts, dark chocolate, red wine, fruits, and vegetables.
Get out and move Go on a romantic walk, or go dancing. It's no secret that exercise is good for heart health. The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise, 75 minutes of vigorous activity, or a combination of both.
Light candles, not cigarettes Quitting smoking is the best thing that can be done for the heart and for overall health. Smoking is the most preventable cause of premature death in the United States.
Enjoy a glass of wine but: Remember to drink in moderation. Chronic consumption of large amounts of alcohol can result in a condition called alcoholic cardiomyopathy. You can actually drink your heart muscle into a weakened state when you consume heavily.
Take a time out for yourself Once a day, enjoy a moment of me-time. A mere hour to yourself (i.e., for a yoga class, mediation, or a leisurely walk to clear your head) can calm nerves and help decrease blood pressure.