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According to the American Heart Association, heart disease continues to be the greatest health threat to Americans and is still the leading cause of death worldwide. February is American Heart Month and Townsquare Media Texarkana is teaming up with Christus St. Michael Health System to promote heart health. You can take care of your heart by adopting a healthy lifestyle. If you smoke, stop. Maintain a healthy weight, control your blood sugar and cholesterol, treat high blood pressure, and get at least 150 minutes of exercise each week. Take care of your heart to help it take care of you.

Below are some tips to help your heart.

Quitting Smoking Greatly Reduces Health Risks 

If you're a smoker, one of the biggest things you can do to improve your health is to stop. Smoking greatly increases your chances of Coronary heart disease (CHD), including myocardial infarction and sudden cardiac death among other serious health conditions. Within a year of quitting smoking, your risks of serious health issues significantly drop. You can read more about the benefits of quitting smoking here.

Exercise. Exercise. Exercise.  

If you're not a smoker, exercise can be the key to having a health and happy heart. Some of the heart benefits to regular exercise include:

  • Improves the muscles’ ability to pull oxygen out of the blood, reducing the need for the heart to pump more blood to the muscles
  • Reduces stress hormones that can put an extra burden on the heart
  • Works like a beta blocker to slow the heart rate and lower blood pressure
  • Increases high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or “good” cholesterol and helps control triglycerides

The American Heart Association and the American College of Sports Medicine both recommend combining aerobic exercise (jogging, swimming, biking) with resistance training (moderate weightlifting). Together, these two categories of exercise produce the greatest benefit for preventing and managing heart disease.

A Healthy Diet Is Key

Believe it or not, eating healthy can do WONDERS for your body & your heart.

Here are a few simple but powerful changes for a healthier heart.

  • Eat more fruits and vegetables
  • Limit saturated fat
  • Choose healthier fats
  • Reduce sodium (salt) intake
  • Increase fiber intake
  • Maintain a healthy weight

Making even small changes in your diet can have a big impact on your heart health. You can read more health tips on creating a healthy diet here.

28 Days of Healthy Heart Activities

February is the month of love, and Healthy Heart Month. I put together a list of activities that we can all do to improve our heart health and decrease stress. Share with friends, and family.

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