Keep Your Heart Healthy!

Did You Know? Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women; each year, about 715,000 Americans have a heart attack and 600,000 die from heart disease. Heart disease is responsible for 1 in 4 American deaths each year.

The good news is that heart disease is preventable and controllable. A number of lifestyle changes can help you prevent or control heart disease.

  • Eat a healthy diet – eating foods low in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol and high in fiber can help prevent high cholesterol. Limiting salt or sodium in your diet can also lower your blood pressure.
  • Maintain a healthy weight – being overweight or obese can increase your risk for heart disease.
  • Exercise regularly – physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight and lower cholesterol and blood pressure. The Surgeon General recommends that adults should engage in moderate-intensity exercise for at least 30 minutes most days of the week. Two 15 minute chunks have just as much benefit as one 30 minute session.
  • Monitor your blood pressure and cholesterol levels – high blood pressure often has no symptoms; you should have it checked on a regular basis. Your cholesterol levels should be checked at least once every five years. CCHD offers cholesterol checks; call 454-6950 and ask to speak with a Public Health Nurse.
  • Don’t smoke – cigarette smoking greatly increases your risk for heart disease. If you don’t smoke, don’t start; if you do, quit as soon as possible.
  • Limit alcohol intake – drinking too much alcohol can increase your blood pressure. Men should have no more than two drinks per day, and women no more than one.

Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke, costs the United States $312.6 billion each year. This includes the cost of health care services, medications, and lost productivity. These conditions are also leading causes of disability, preventing Americans from working, recreating, and enjoying time with their family and friends. Some lifestyle changes can help you get on the path to a future free of heart disease!

For more information, visit www.cdc.gov.