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Five things you can do to improve your heart health

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February is a month filled with hearts: cute and colorful candy hearts, spending time with your sweetheart, and of course, it’s Heart Health Month! While we’re thinking about all things heart-related, try incorporating some heart-healthy habits into your life.

Here are five things you can do to improve your heart health this month!

1. Exercise

You don’t have to spend an hour running on a treadmill to get the benefits of exercise (but we won’t stop you)! Dedicating 20 to 30 minutes every day to getting active can strengthen your heart and help your overall physical health and even your mental health.
Need some fun ideas to get active? Here are a few things you might enjoy:

  • Take a fitness class. Whether you want to learn how to ballroom dance, you’ve always been interested in Tai Chi or you want to get back into your favorite sport, there are plenty of fun options to get active in an exciting way.
  • Take a walk around the neighborhood! When the spring weather is finally here, get the whole family to join you on a walk around the neighborhood. It’s an easy way to fit exercise into your busy schedule while helping your loved ones make healthy choices.
  • Try a new workout video. While we’re still socially distancing (and the weather is still cold), try a new type of workout from home! There are plenty of free videos that you can find based on your health level and abilities.

2. Destress

We know there’s a lot going on in the world and in your world. Take a few minutes to practice your favorite hobby, try out a new self-care technique or just decompress. Your heart will thank you!
If you need help coping with stress, we have counselors that work with your primary care physician who can help you get mentally healthy. Get to know them here.

3. Stop smoking

Stopping smoking is easier said than done. But quitting smoking helps your heart, decreases your risk of cancer and has so many other health benefits. Your primary care provider can help you work through this, too!

4. Focus on a healthy diet

You don’t have to completely change your diet! There are a few easy things that can start with that make a big difference:

  • Lower your sodium intake. Reducing the amount of sodium you consume is a natural way to lower your blood pressure, which is an important part of your heart health trilogy.
  • Lower your alcohol intake. Drinking too much alcohol can increase your risk for a heart attack or stroke as well as lead to high blood pressure. Try drinking a glass of water with your meal and challenging your family members to make healthy decisions together!

5. Schedule your annual physical

The best way to treat heart disease is by never letting it develop! Staying on track with your yearly exam gives your primary care physician a baseline of your health so they can take steps when they start to see changes, not when you’re experiencing symptoms.

Click below to schedule a physical with your family practice physician.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.