February is American Heart Month

5 Medication-Free Strategies to Help Prevent Heart Disease

The entire month of February seems to revolve around matters of the heart including health, the color red and romance with the following “special observance” days:

  • 2/6 National Wear Red Day
  • 2/14 Valentine’s Day
  • 2/20 National Women’s Heart Health Day

Since it is American Heart Month, I give you 5 medication-free strategies to help prevent heart disease provided by the Mayo Clinic.

  1. Don’t smoke or use tobacco
  2. Exercise for 30 minutes on most days of the week
    Are you an avid exerciser or do you put exercise near the bottom on your “to do” list? We all know that even thirty minutes of daily physical activity can be extremely beneficial to your heart and overall wellness. The Arthritis Foundation recommends exercise in a pool or hot tub. “When first entering a spa or pool, relax and enjoy the soothing water. When your muscles and joints feel more comfortable and relaxed, slowly begin your exercise routine. Allow enough time after exercising to relax muscles again before getting out of the water.”
  3. Eat a heart-healthy diet
    One of my favorite magazines, Prevention Magazine, suggests eleven power foods to lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and inflammation. Low-sodium V8 vegetable juice cocktail, oatmeal, hard-cooked eggs, fat-free greek yogurt, kiwifruit or papaya slices, curried turkey salad, dark chocolate with walnuts. Yum, I’m getting hungry.
  4. Maintain a healthy weight I learned on the Mayo Clinic website “As you put on weight in adulthood, your weight gain is mostly fat rather than muscle.” Oh great (I say that with sarcasm), that short quote just changed my life…ugh life and aging; it’s hard to face the facts provided by the medical experts. The American Heart Association offers the following formula to calculate your body mass index “Body mass index assesses your body weight relative to height. It’s a useful, indirect measure of body composition because it correlates highly with body fat in most people. To calculate your exact BMI value, multiply your weight in pounds by 703, divide by your height in inches, then divide again by your height in inches. A BMI of less than 25 indicates that you are at a weight that is healthful for you.”
  5. Get regular health screenings

I wish you all a Happy American Heart Month! Live well, love and take care of your hearts!

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