Did you know heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States? Hi, this is Jody Jo. Good news is there are lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your chances of heart disease, heart attack and stroke.

The first thing you can do is stop smoking. Choose a healthy diet; eat nutrient rich foods like whole grains, vegetables, fruits and low fat meats. Limit the amount of red meat, sweets and sweetened beverages.

Becoming more active is one of the best things you can do for yourself. It helps with your blood pressure, weight and it makes your heart stronger. Getting as little as 30 minutes of moderate exercise on most days helps.

Before you start an exercise program, check with your doctor to see if there are activities that aren’t appropriate for you.

You don’t have to do the same thing every day. You might find it easier to stay motivated if you involve friends or family members in your activities.

To learn more about Cardiac Health go to KaweahDelta.org

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HEART MONTH: A Healthy Heart

February is American Heart Month and it is a perfect time to get the heart of the matter. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, for both men and women, and for almost all ethnicities. 610,000 people die in the U.S. every year from heart disease – that’s 1 in every 4 deaths. Each year 735,000 Americans will have a heart attack, and 210,000 of those will be experiencing a second, or third heart attack.

EARLY ACTION IS IMPORTANT!

Heart attacks have several major warning signs and symptoms:

  • Chest pain or discomfort.
  • Upper body pain or discomfort/tightness in the arms, back, jaw, neck or upper stomach.
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea, light-headedness, or cold sweats.

If you or someone that you love is experiencing these symptoms, call 9-1-1 and get to a hospital immediately. Heart health is extremely important and not impossible to achieve. Most factors are controllable including:

  1. Not smoking.
  2. Lowering high blood pressure.
  3. Lowering high cholesterol.

These three things are key risk factors for heart disease and 47% of Americans have at least 1 of these 3 risk factors.

Other factors to consider are:

  1. Diabetes
  2. Overweight and obesity
  3. Poor diet
  4. Lack of physical activity
  5. Excessive alcohol use
  6. Unmanaged stress

Talk to your doctor today about what you can do to manage your heart health. It may save your life!

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