When we think of February, we often think of Valentine’s Day. We see hearts cropping up in stores, on windows and bulletin boards, and perhaps, we think of sending our loved ones heart-themed greetings in honor of February 14th. February is also American Heart Month. What better month to turn our attention, after all, to our heart health? This February, when you begin seeing hearts and the color red on decorations, think of them as reminders to take care of your heart!
Heart disease touches almost every American’s life in some way. It is the leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for 1 in 4 adult deaths. Many times, heart disease can be prevented with a healthy diet and lifestyle.
You can lower your risk for heart disease by:
- Getting active each day. It may seem like a challenge in February, when the weather is less than inviting. But even a brief walk outdoors or daily stretches make a difference for your cardiovascular health, as well as your mood. Many shopping malls or local public buildings have indoor walking hours, too.
- Committing to less salt and healthier eating. Resolve to use less salt, enhancing the flavor of your food with other spices or ingredients instead. Add as many fresh fruits and vegetables, and as many colors, to your diet as possible.
- Reducing stress. Leo Buscaglia once said, “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” The effects of stress on physical health are well-documented. Stress can also lead to poor lifestyle choices, such as smoking, inactivity, and overeating, which negatively impacts heart health. Try meditating for a few minutes each day, or even just taking some deep breaths every time you feel worried or stressed.
- Visiting your doctor. Regular checkups are important for monitoring your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, as well as to stay on top of managing any other health conditions you may have.
To find out how you can help spread the word about American Heart Month, make a donation, or make a difference in your community, see the American Heart Association’s webpage. Don’t forget that February 3rd is Wear Red Day!
For over 16 years, Jerry and Nancy Makison of Makison Insurance, located in St. Joseph, Missouri, have been advocating for seniors’ rights, options, and entitlements when it comes to Medicare Supplement Insurance and Retirement Income Planning. Schedule your free consultation today by calling (816) 271-5444, or visit our Facebook page for helpful tips, the latest news, and more information on how Makison Insurance can find solutions for your life, retirement, and family