We all know February to be the month of flowers, candy, hearts and LOVE!  Did you know February is also American Heart Month? Make health your best accessory!  Heart disease is the number one killer of women.  It can begin early, even in the teen years.  A woman’s risk for heart disease rises between the ages of 40 and 60.  Heart disease is also the leading cause of death for men in the United States, with half of the men who die suddenly of coronary heart disease have no previous symptoms. No matter how old you are, you can take steps to lower your risk for heart disease! Start my planning heart healthy activities during the month of February.  But don’t stop there–stay healthy and active all year long!


Be active for at least 2 1/2 hours a week.  Include activities that raise your breathing and heart rates and that strengthen your muscles.  Do 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise three times a week, such as biking, walking, running, and swimming.  Strength training with weights or dumbbells three times a week will help you to keep your major muscle groups strong, and also help your endurance with cardiovascular exercise.


Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables every day.  Limit foods and drinks high in calories, sugar, salt, fat, and alcohol content.  Choose healthy snacks. Check out “Fruits and Veggies Matter” for healthy recipes!


Avoid smoking and secondhand smoke (inhaling other people’s smoke causes health problems similar to those of smokers).  Quitting smoking has immediate and long-term benefits.  If you think you’re ready to quit, call 1-800-Quit-NOW and visit Center for Disease Control’s Smoking and Tobacco Use to quit smoking today.


The major symptoms of a heart attack are:

*Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, or back.

*Unusual or unexplained fatigue.

*Feeling weak, light-headed, faint, nauseated, or sudden dizziness

*Chest pain or discomfort in arms or shoulder.  Upper body discomfort.

*Shortness of breath.

*Break out in a cold sweat.

If you think that you or someone you know is having a heart attack, you should call 9-1-1 immediately.  MAKE THE CALL. DON’T MISS A BEAT!


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