Did you know February is American Heart Month? Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the District, with death rates highest among African Americans. Uncontrolled high blood pressure is the main cause of heart disease. Identify source for the above
With a few small lifestyle changes, you can earn your way to a healthy heart. Start taking control of your health today!
- Eat more heart-healthy foods. Add foods high in fiber such as brown rice or whole wheat pasta. Eat more fruits and vegetables! And, limit salty and fried foods.
TIP: Make a calendar and write down what heart-healthy food you plan to add to your meal each day. Don’t forget to go grocery shopping for the food items! Check out this heart-healthy grocery list for guidance.
- Get moving every day! Strive to be active every day for 30 minutes, five days a week. There are many ways to get moving such as dancing, walking, or biking. For D.C. residents, Department of Parks and Recreation fitness centers are FREE. Find a DCPR fitness center near you.
TIP: Crunched for time? Try a 7-minute workout. Studies have shown a high intensity 7-minute workout has the same benefits of working out longer. Don’t forget to consult with your physician before starting any workout routine.
- Know your blood pressure numbers to reduce your risk of heart disease. Uncontrolled blood pressure causes your heart to work harder than normal.
TIP: Visit your doctor, pharmacy or health center for a blood pressure check. It is fast and easy. Check with your doctor to see what a healthy blood pressure is for you, and follow your doctor’s recommendations to get there.
- Quit smoking. Smoking can damage your heart and cause other health issues.
TIP: To find help to stop smoking, call DC’s Quit Line at 1 (800) QUIT NOW (784-8669) to join a smoking cessation program and start your pathway to a healthy heart.
What does heart health mean to you? Show your support on February 5th and wear RED!