Ah – it’s February. The month of love. The month of Valentine’s Day with its pink and red heart-shaped boxes of chocolates, pink and red greeting cards, pink and red flowers, and everywhere hearts, hearts, and more hearts. February is also Heart Disease Awareness Month – the month to seriously consider the healthiness of your heart.
Up until recently, heart disease was believed to be a disease that mostly affected men. But, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has reported that heart disease is the number one killer of women today.
The riskiest years for developing heart disease are between the ages of 40 and 60. But, it can actually begin as early as in the teenage years. The CDC lists three major guidelines for women to follow to ensure a healthy heart.
- Physical Activity: Adults need to target their exercise to include 2½ hours per week in exercises that raise your heart rate and strengthen your muscles. This does not mean you need to spend the 2½ hours all at once. It can be spread out over a period of a week. Children and teenagers need to spend an hour each day in a physical activity and it should include three days of muscle strengthening activities.
- Healthy Diet: This means eating food from all the food groups but focusing mainly on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat or fat-free dairy products and lean proteins such as poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts. You should be eating a serving of fruits and vegetables at every meal and every snack. Try to make it your goal to stay away from foods and drinks that have a high saturated or trans-fat content, sugar, salt and alcohol.
- Live Smoke-Free: Quitting smoking is, of course, imperative. There are not only long-term benefits, but the short term benefits begin only 20 minutes after you have smoked your last cigarette. There are positive changes that develop in a smoke-free body that continue for years after the last inhale. Under the live smoke-free category, it is also important to avoid second-hand smoke. It causes all of the same health problems that smoking does.
The Kabb Law Firm wishes you a Happy and Heart Healthy Valentine’s Day.
For more information on keeping your heart healthy, call us at 216-991-KABB (5222).