February is American Heart Month, and unfortunately, most of us know a friend or family member that has had heart disease or stroke. According to the Center on Disease Control (CDC) heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. One in 3 deaths is heart disease or stroke related – that’s 2,220 deaths each day.
Fortunately, we can all take part in preventing heart disease in ourselves and our friends and family by knowing steps to prevention and warning signs.
- Get up and get active! Engage in physical activity for at least 30 minutes most days of the week. You can even incorporate this in everyday activity by taking the stairs instead of the elevator and walking to places instead of driving, when you can!
Know your ABCS:
- Ask your doctor if you should take an Aspirin every day.
- Find out if you have high Blood pressure or Cholesterol, and if you do, get effective treatment.
- If you Smoke, get help to quit.
- Make your calories count by eating a heart-healthy diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables and low in sodium and trans fat.
- Take control of your heart health by following your doctor’s prescription instructions.
Additionally, we can thank reforms to the health care system that will help make prevention more accessible and affordable. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) many prevention services will be available without co-pay, co-insurance or deductibles. These services will include blood pressure and cholesterol checks as well as screening and cessation services to help quit smoking.