Since proclaimed by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964, February has been celebrated as American Heart Month. And while this is the last week of the month, it's a perfect time to take stock of your heart health and make doctor's appointments, even if they're in March.
Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of Americans; Johnson made the proclamation nine years after he had a heart attack. That led to local initiatives about preventing heart disease, like the Kissimmee 5K race held Valentine's Day weekend every year.
The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute recommends a list of things you can do to be heart healthier:
- understand risks in family history
- get your blood pressure and cholesterol checked and regulated
- get down (or up ) to a healthy weight
- eat heart-healthy foods
- eliminate stress
- quit smoking
- get plenty of sleep and physical exercise
But the biggest tip: get a buddy to do it with you. The #OurHearts movement is a national initiative to encourage people to be heart healthy together. NHLBI and The Heart Truth have come up with ways to have strength in numbers:
Have walking meetings, or start a walking club;
Exercise or go to a yoga session with a neighbor;
Go grocery shopping with your family for healthy ingredients and make a healthy meal to share;
Tell a friend you’re quitting smoking and ask for their support;
And, after you've seen a doctor if you detect any possible problems, share it all to social media with the #OurHearts hashtag.
So get up, get a buddy and get heart healthy!
From your friends at Draper Law Office!