This week Wendy Couture, the district’s safety and risk reduction manager, provides information about making healthy choices to lower the risk of developing heart disease.
February is American Heart Month
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. Every year, 1 in 4 deaths are caused by heart disease.
Heart disease can often be prevented when people make healthy choices and manage their health conditions. Communities, health professionals and families can work together to create opportunities for people to make healthier choices.
You can make healthy changes to lower your risk of developing heart disease. Controlling and preventing risk factors is also important for people who already have heart disease.
To lower your risk and help prevent heart disease, follow these tips:
- Watch your weight. Physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight and lower your blood pressure, cholesterol and sugar levels. For adults, the Surgeon General recommends 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, like brisk walking or bicycling, every week.
- Cigarette smoking greatly increases your risk for heart disease. Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke. Talk to your doctor for support and help to quit.
- Control your cholesterol and blood pressure by eating foods low in saturated fats, trans fat, and cholesterol, and high in fiber and limiting salt.
- If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation as alcohol can raise blood pressure.
- Choosing healthful meal and snack options can help you avoid heart disease and its complications. Be sure to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and fewer processed foods.
Test your knowledge of heart disease by taking this quiz:
Interested in learning more? Check out this heart healthy website for more information: