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Show a Little More Love

February is National Heart Month!  Cardiovascular disease, such as heart attack and stroke, is the nation’s #1 killer.  A healthy diet and lifestyle are your best weapons to prevent becoming part of that number.  Here are the top 5 habits that harm your heart – and how you can show it a little more love!

Top 5 Habits that Harm Your Heart

  1. Smoking – If you smoke, quitting is the biggest gift of health you can give yourself. Secondhand smoke is also toxic, so avoid it whenever possible.
  2. Being inactive – Get moving!  Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate cardiovascular exercise most (at least 5) days per week.  The 30-minute recommendation is for the average healthy adult to maintain health and reduce the risk for chronic disease. 
  3. Being overweight or obese – Carrying extra pounds, especially around the belly, strains the heart and tips you toward diabetes. If you are overweight, losing just 5 percent to 10 percent of your starting weight can make a big difference in your blood pressure and blood sugar.
  4. Eating poorly – Add fruits and vegetables, whole grains, unsaturated fat, good protein (from beans, nuts, fish, and poultry), and herbs and spices. Subtract processed foods, salt, rapidly digested carbohydrates (from white bread, white rice, potatoes, and the like), red meat, and soda or other sugar-sweetened beverages.
  5. Drinking too much alcohol – If you drink alcohol, limit your intake — one to two drinks a day for men, no more than one a day for women.

In a recent study from Harvard Medical – more than two-thirds of all cardiovascular events (heart attack, stroke, PAD, aortic aneurysm, or heart failure) could be chalked up to smoking, excess weight, poor diet and/or drinking too much.

 

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