February is American Heart Month. Kick the month off on February 5th by participating in National Wear Red Day®. The day is celebrated on the first Friday of February to bring attention to the number one killer of women. You may be surprised to hear that heart disease kills more women than all forms of cancer combined. Here are some ways you can promote heart health.
Move with Heart
A good goal is to move at least 150 minutes a week. Sound daunting? The most important take-a-way is to move more! Find an activity you enjoy and recruit a friend to keep you both motivated. You can even break up your activity into 10 minutes, three times a day. Not sure where to start? The American Heart Association has a variety of workout and meditation videos available on YouTube.
Eating a diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats can help support heart health. Get started by including a few key foods in your diet such as avocado, whole grains, legumes and lean proteins. Limit foods that are high in sodium (salt), trans or saturated fat and added sugar that may increase your risk for heart disease. Some examples include processed meats, salty snacks or sweet desserts. And of course, don’t smoke. If you do, February makes a great month to quit!
Know your numbers
Knowing your risk starts with knowing your numbers. With this knowledge, you will be better able to determine your risk. Talk to your doctor to learn your blood pressure, total cholesterol, blood sugar and BMI (Body Mass Index).
- 1 in 3 women’s deaths are from heart disease, approximately one woman every minute
- 80% of cardiovascular disease events, including heart disease and stroke, are preventable
- 90% of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease