This Valentine’s Month do your heart a favor and take steps to protect it. Someone dies every minute from a heart-related event. Heart disease is the number-one killer of both women and men in the United States. Keeping your heart healthy and strong isn’t difficult, but it does take some effort. Following these five tips can help keep your heart healthy longer.
Visit Your Doctor
Make sure to take the time for regular checkups and health screenings. Talk with your doctor about any risk factors you may have. Be sure to have a complete family medical history. Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully, especially when it comes to prescribed medicines.
Kick the Smoking Habit
If you smoke, quit. Don’t put if off any longer. Quitting might not be easy, but your heart may depend on it. People who smoke a pack of cigarettes a day have more than twice the risk of heart attack than nonsmokers.
Stick with a diet that is low in saturated fat, cholesterol and salt and high in fruits and veggies. If you drink alcoholic beverages, do so in moderation.
Exercise is important for a healthy heart. But, that doesn’t mean you need to run out and sign up for your local triathlon. Every little step counts. Start moving a little bit each day and gradually work up to 30 minutes a day, most days of the week. Be sure to speak with your doctor before beginning an exercise program.
Learn the Warning Signs
The warning signs of heart disease differ for women and men. Men tend to suffer from the symptoms most commonly associated with heart disease (chest pains, numbness in arm). Women, on the other hand, typically experience symptoms that aren’t commonly identified with heart attacks such as jaw pain, nausea, dizziness, sudden fatigue or weakness.
To learn more about heart disease and its warning signs visit: http://www.aarp.org/health/healthyliving/heart_health/