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February Is Heart Health Month!

Feb 15, 2021

In addition to being the month of Valentine's Day, February is Heart Health Month! How can we take care of our hearts, you ask?

-Get a daily dose of activity, at least 30 minutes per day on average. American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes (2 1/2 hours) of moderate physical activity per week. What counts? Any activity that gets you sweating and breathing hard. Some examples: a strength workout, a brisk walk/run/bike ride, a swim, etc. What doesn't count? Something leisurely where you can talk easily while moving. Some examples: an easy walk or gardening.

-Walk! While you may have heard 10,000 steps is the magic number, any little improvement counts. A 2015 study found a 41% reduction in mortality between people 62-101 who walked 4,400 steps per day over those who averaged 2,700 steps per day. This reduction continued until the 12,000 step per day range. Not close to 10,000? Start with small steps (hah) towards your goal. Increase your goal by 2,000 steps per day each week until you work up to more steps. How? Grab the family and take a post dinner walk. Do your errands by foot instead of car, or park farther from the door. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. The list goes on!

-Eat healthy! Limit your sodium and unhealthy fats. Focus on fruits and veggies as snacks instead of sugary or salty carbs.

-Sleep enough! For most people, that's 7-8 hours a night.

-Manage your stress in a way that works for you. Some examples: reading a book, exercising, getting outside for an activity you enjoy or meditation!

Be good to your heart this month, and every month!


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